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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 106-108 Table of Contents   

Five-year trend of acquired antitubercular drug resistance in patients attending a tertiary care hospital at Dehradun (Uttarakhand)

1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Nagar, Doiwala, Dehradun (Uttaranchal), India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Nagar, Doiwala, Dehradun (Uttaranchal), India

Date of Web Publication9-Oct-2009

Correspondence Address:
Jagdish Rawat
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Nagar, Doiwala, Dehradun (Uttaranchal)
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.56342

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Background/Aim: To study the prevalence and trend of acquired drug resistance to the first line antitubercular drugs . Materials and Methods: Sputum of 215 previously treated adult pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients over a period of 2002-2006 were subjected to culture and sensitivity testing against common antitubercular drugs. Result: Growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was obtained from sputum specimen of 184 (85.58%) of the 215 patients who were studied; Overall, 113 (62.77%) of these were resistant to at least one antitubercular drug. Resistance to isoniazid was most common (62.22%) followed by rifampicin (57.22%). Multidrug resistance (MDR) was observed in 103 (57.22%) cases. During the five-year study period, an increasing trend in drug resistance including MDR-TB was observed.
Conclusion: This study showed increasing trend in drug resistance including MDR-TB in five years.

Keywords: Acquired drug resistance, multi-drug resistance, tuberculosis

How to cite this article:
Rawat J, Sindhwani G, Dua RJ. Five-year trend of acquired antitubercular drug resistance in patients attending a tertiary care hospital at Dehradun (Uttarakhand). Lung India 2009;26:106-8

How to cite this URL:
Rawat J, Sindhwani G, Dua RJ. Five-year trend of acquired antitubercular drug resistance in patients attending a tertiary care hospital at Dehradun (Uttarakhand). Lung India [serial online] 2009 [cited 2019 Dec 11];26:106-8. Available from: http://www.lungindia.com/text.asp?2009/26/4/106/56342

   Introduction Top

Reducing the global burden of tuberculosis (TB) remains a paramount public health priority. Recent estimates are that 32% of the world population, (1.86 billion) is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 8.4 million new cases were observed in 2000. [1] India accounts for nearly 30% of the global TB burden. Drug-resistant tuberculosis has been reported since the early days of introduction of anti-tubercular chemotherapy. But, recently, multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB has been an area of growing concern, and is posing a threat to the global efforts of TB control.

Several studies [2],[3],[4],[5],[6] conducted by various authors in different parts of country reveal the total prevalence of primary/initial MDR-TB as 3% (0-5%) and the rate of acquired MDR-TB in India varies from 6% to 100%. In a survey done by WHO-IUATLD in India, the median prevalence of primary and acquired MDR-TB was found to be 3%-4% and 25%, respectively. [7]

The response of patients with MDR-TB to treatment is poor and the mortality rate is usually high. Because these patients need to be treated with expensive and more toxic second-line drugs and may require hospitalization to manage their toxic reactions and other complications; they require a sizeable proportion of health care resources.

Furthermore, an alarming increase in infection due to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has accelerated this situation. There is a grave concern in India regarding the increase in HIV-associated TB and the emergence of MDR-TB both in magnitude and severity.

As no information on acquired drug resistance (ADR) was available from Uttarakhand, a retrospective survey of antitubercular drug resistance was conducted for a period from 2002 to 2006, with the aims to determine the prevalence of re-treatment drug resistance rate of M. tuberculosis as well as to study the trend of ADR within this period.

   Materials and Methods Top

The study was conducted in Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences (HIMS), a postgraduate institute and a large referral tertiary care center in Uttarakhand from January 2002 to December 2006. Overall, 215 previously treated, smear-positive pulmonary TB patients aged 15 years and above were included in the study. A previously treated patient was defined as a patient treated in the past with one or more course of antitubercular chemotherapy (whether or not treatment had been completed), who is now presenting with symptoms and signs suggestive of TB. The antitubercular drugs were stopped at least one week before subjecting the sputum for culture and sensitivity test. The culture and sensitivity tests were performed on Lowenstein-Jensen medium; these tests were carried out at New Delhi tuberculosis training and demonstration center, Delhi Gate, New Delhi. Positive cultures were subjected to drug susceptibility testing. The culture and sensitivity tests were done against streptomycin (SM), RMP, isoniazid (INH), ethambutol, pyrazinamide and other second-line drugs.

   Results Top

During the study period, a total of 215 sputum samples were sent for culture and sensitivity. Among 215 patients, 5 were found to be HIV positive and 210 were HIV seronegative. Of these five HIV-positive patients, four specimens were culture positive among which three were susceptible to all the drugs tested, while one strain was found resistant to SM, INH, and RMP. Among 210 HIV-seronegative patients, 180 specimens were culture positive for M. tuberculosis. Sixty-seven strains (37.22%) were susceptible to all the drugs tested, and 113 (62.77%) were resistant to at least 1 drug [Table 1]. Resistance to INH was found to be most common (62.22%), followed by RMP (57.22%), SM (22.22%), ethambutol (10%) and pyrazinamide (2.77%). Only 9 cases (5%) revealed resistance to 1 drug, while 104 cases (57.73%) were resistant to 2 or more drugs. MDR-TB was observed in 103 (57.22%) cases [Table 2].

Trend in resistance rate among the re-treatment cases from 2002 to 2006 showed a significant increase for any drug as well as for INH + RMP resistance [Table 3].

   Discussion Top

Previous treatment for tuberculosis has been identified as an important risk factor for the acquisition of drug-resistant TB. [8-11] In this study, the overall rate of ADR was 62.77% to one or more antitubercular drugs. Although quite high, the prevalence of ADR observed in this series is comparable, to the rate of 60-85% from different studies [2],[3],[4],[5] in India. The high rate of ADR observed in these studies as well as in ours probably reflects the absence of good effective national tuberculosis control program.

Among ADR cases, 57.73% had resistance to 2 or more drugs concomitantly and the most commonly affected drugs were INH and RMP. However, acquired resistance to a single drug alone (5%) was relatively low as compared with data from other parts of the country. [4],[5] INH-resistant strains were encountered in 62.22% cases, similar to the observation in other studies from India. [2],[3],[4],[5],[12],[13],[14] The present study has revealed 57.22% acquired resistance to RMP, which is second highest among the levels reported from various centers in our country since 1980. [2],[5],[15] RMP resistance was always associated with INH resistance in our study. It can therefore be concluded that resistance to RMP is highly predictive of multi-drug resistance in Uttarakhand.

The present study has revealed the increasing trend in drug resistance including MDR-TB during the five-year study period. The longitudinal trend of drug resistance noted by Trivedi and Desai [2] during the 1980s in Gujarat also showed that resistance to RMP increased from 2.8% in 1980 to 37.3% in 1986 and to INH from 34.5% to 55.8%. We have observed no change in SM resistance rate in the present study, which could be due to more frequent use of RMP-containing regimens these days, whereas streptomycin-containing regimens were used frequently before 1980.

We found 5 (2.33%) HIV-positive patients among 215 screened, which confirms the finding of our previous study conducted on patients with TB. [16]

Our study has several limitations. First, we studied only patients with documented positive cultures, not those with negative cultures or those from whom no culture was obtained. Second, nonviable specimens were more likely to be resistant than viable specimen on testing by other methods. Thus, there may have been a slight selection bias against resistant isolates; the actual proportion of patients with resistant isolates may be 2% to 3% higher than the one reported in this investigation. Third, Due to retrospective study, we were unable to separate the patients either they are coming to us from private practitioner or from government sector, so we cannot say rightly by our study that increasing ADR in this region were due to the absence of good, effective national tuberculosis control program in the past.

Detecting increasing drug resistance in TB is important because there are serious consequences of drug resistance, particularly in our setting where the availability of routine susceptibility testing and second-line drugs are limited and the increasing prevalence of HIV might result in rapid dissemination of the problem.

To conclude, the ADR rate of M. tuberculosis is quite high in Uttarakhand. Acquired resistance to RMP or in combination with INH (MDR) is also high. This reflects treatment errors that have been made during preceding years. Hence, monitoring the trend of primary drug resistance in Uttarakhand will be critical to determine whether directly observed treatment-short course (DOTS) is able to control the emergence of drug-resistant

TB or not.

   References Top

1.Dye C, Scheele S, Dolin P, Pathanai V, Raviglione MC; for the WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring Project. Global burden of tuberculosis: Estimated incidence, prevalence, and mortality by country. JAMA 1999;282:677-86.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Trivedi SS, Desai SG. Primary anti-tuberculosis drug resistance and acquired rifampicin resistance in Gujarat. India. Tubercule 1988;69:37.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Deshmukh DA, Pande SK, Menon CR. Pattern of drug resistance in treated patients attending TB control and Training Centre, Nagpur. Maharashtra Med J 1966;12:56.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Baldev Raj, Gupta KB. Changing pattern of acquired drug resistance in patients of pulmonary tuberculosis. Lung India 1993;10:135.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Janmeja AK, Raj B. Acquired drug resistance in tuberculosis in Haryana, India. JAPI 1998;46:194-8.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]    
6.Chandrasekaran S, Jagota P, Chaudhuri K. Initial drug resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs in urban and rural district tuberculosis programme. Indian J Tuberc 1992;39:171-5.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.World Health Organization. The WHO/IUATLD. Global Project on Antituberculosis Drug Resistance Surveillance: Antituberculosis drug resistance in the world. Report No. 3 Geneva: Switzerland; 2004. WHO/CDS/TB/2004.  Back to cited text no. 7      
8.Constell HD. Caras GJ. Snider DE Jr. Drug resistance among previously treated tuberculosis patients: A brief report. Am Rev Respir Dis 1980;121:313-6.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Shennan DH. Resistance of tubercle bacilli to isoniazid: PAS and streptomychin related to history of previous treatment. Tubercle 1964;45:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]    
10.Riley LW, Arathoon E, Loverde VD. The epidemiologic patterns of drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections: A community based study. Am Rev Respir Dis 1989;139:1282-5.  Back to cited text no. 10  [PUBMED]    
11.Narang P, Nayyar S, Mendiratta DK, Tyagi NK, Jajoo UN. Smear and culture positive cases of tuberculosis found among symptomaties surveyed in Wardha district. Indian J Tuberc 1992;39:159-63.  Back to cited text no. 11      
12.Datta M, Radhamani MP, Selvaraj R, Paramasivan CN, Gopalan BN, Sundernra CR, et al. Critical assessment of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis patients after chemotherapy under the district tuberculosis programme. Tubercle Lung Dis 1993;74:180-6.  Back to cited text no. 12      
13.Gopi PG, Vallishayee RS, Appegowda BN, Paramasivam CN, Ranganatha S, Venkataramu KV, et al. A tuberculosis prevalence survey based on symptoms questiond and sputum examination. Indian J Tuberc 1997;44:171-80.  Back to cited text no. 13      
14.Jain NK, Chopra KK, Prasad G. Initial and acquired isoniazid and rifampicin resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and its implication for treatment. Indian J Tuberc 1992;39:12-4.  Back to cited text no. 14      
15.Paramasivan CN, Venkataraman P, Chandrasekaran V, Bhat S, Narayanan PR. Surveillance of drug resistance tuberculosis in two districts of south India. Indian J Tuberc Lung Dis 2002;6:479-84.  Back to cited text no. 15      
16.Gupta P, Rawat J, Sindhwani G, Prasad R, Taleker M. HIV seroprevalence and tuberculosis in Uttarakhand. Indian J Tuber 2006;53:96-100.  Back to cited text no. 16      


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

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