WHO recently recommended the use of a shorter multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) regimen under programmatic conditions. We assessed eligibility for this regimen in a cohort of 737 adult patients with MDR-TB from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Bucharest city recruited in 2007 and 2009. Only 4.2% of the patients were eligible for this regimen. Ethambutol (64%), pyrazinamide resistance (58%) and previous exposure to second-line TB drugs were major reasons for non-eligibility. High-level resistance to isoniazid is expected due to widespread prevalence of katG mutations. In Eastern Europe, the use of the shorter regimen might be an exception rather than a rule.
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YB and LF contributed equally
Contributors YB and LF drafted the manuscript; all authors reviewed and edited the manuscript. All authors participated in the study design. YB, OI, VN and FD supervised the project. BR, MD, KJ, ED, BR and CMP conducted the study. LF and OI conducted the statistical analysis.
Funding The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement FP7–223681. LF received a research grant from the not-for profit organisations Oskar-Helene-Heim and Günther Labes. The funders had no role in the design or analysis of the study.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval The ‘TB-PAN-NET’ project was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Review Committees of the University of Tartu and Riga Stradins University and received a waiver of informed consent as anonymised data were used. Local Ethics Committees exempted the study from an ethics review in Lithuania and Romania. The study was approved by Queen Mary College Research Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement We agree to share the data from this research.
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