Predictors of unfavourable treatment outcome in patients diagnosed with drug-resistant tuberculosis in the Torres Strait / Papua New Guinea border region

Foster, J'Belle, Mendez, Diana, Marais, Ben J., Peniyamina, Dunstan, and McBryde, Emma S. (2022) Predictors of unfavourable treatment outcome in patients diagnosed with drug-resistant tuberculosis in the Torres Strait / Papua New Guinea border region. PLoS ONE, 17 (12). e0266436.

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Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is an ongoing challenge in the Torres Strait Islands (TSI) / Papua New Guinea (PNG) border region. Treatment success rates have historically been poor for patients diagnosed with DR-TB, leading to increased transmission. This study aimed to identify variables associated with unfavourable outcome in patients diagnosed with DR-TB to inform programmatic improvements. A retrospective study of all DR-TB cases who presented to Australian health facilities in the Torres Strait between 1 March 2000 and 31 March 2020 was performed. This time period covers four distinct TB programmatic approaches which reflect Australian and Queensland Government decisions on TB management in this remote region. Univariate and multivariate predictors of unfavourable outcome were analysed. Unfavourable outcome was defined as lost to follow up, treatment failure and death. Successful outcome was defined as cure and treatment completion. In total, 133 patients with resistance to at least one TB drug were identified. The vast majority (123/133; 92%) of DR-TB patients had pulmonary involvement; and of these, 41% (50/123) had both pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB. Unfavourable outcomes were observed in 29% (39/133) of patients. Patients living with human immunodeficiency virus, renal disease or diabetes (4/133; 4/133; 3/133) had an increased frequency of unfavourable outcome (p <0.05), but the numbers were small. Among all 133 DR-TB patients, 41% had a low lymphocyte count, which was significantly associated with unfavourable outcome (p <0.05). We noted a 50% increase in successful outcomes achieved in the 2016–2020 programmatic period, compared to earlier periods (OR 5.3, 95% Confidence Interval [1.3, 20.4]). Being a close contact of a known TB case was associated with improved outcome. While DR-TB treatment outcomes have improved over time, enhanced surveillance for DR-TB, better cross border collaboration and consistent diagnosis and management of comorbidities and other risk factors should further improve patient care and outcomes.

Item ID: 77446
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2022 Foster et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2023 22:44
FoR Codes: 49 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 4901 Applied mathematics > 490102 Biological mathematics @ 30%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420205 Epidemiological modelling @ 70%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200404 Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) @ 80%
20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200205 Health policy evaluation @ 20%
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