Relapse and mortality among HIV-infected and uninfected patients with tuberculosis successfully treated with twice weekly directly observed therapy in rural South Africa

Cathy Connolly, Alasdair Reid, Gerry Davies, Willem Sturm, Keith P W J McAdam, David Wilkinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To determine post-treatment relapse and mortality rates among HIV-infected and uninfected patients with tuberculosis treated with a twice-weekly drug regimen under direct observation (DOT). Setting: Hlabisa, South Africa. Patients: A group of 403 patients with tuberculosis (53% HIV infected) cured following treatment with isoniazid (H), rifampicin (R), pyrazinamide (Z) and ethambutol (E) given in hospital (median 17 days), followed by HRZE twice weekly to 2 months and HR twice weekly to 6 months in the community under DOT. Methods: Relapses were identified through hospital readmission and 6-monthly home visits. Relapse (culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and mortality given as rates per 100 person-years observation (PYO) stratified by HIV status and history of previous tuberculosis treatment. Results: Mean (SD) post-treatment follow-up was 1.2 (0.4) years (total PYO = 499); 78 patients (19%) left the area, 58 (14%) died, 248 (62%) remained well and 19 (5%) relapsed. Relapse rates in HIV-infected and uninfected patients were 3.9 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5-6.3 and 3.6 (95% CI 1.1-6.1) per 100 PYO (P = 0.7). Probability of relapse at 18 months was estimated as 5% in each group. Mortality was four-fold higher among HIV-infected patients (17.8 and 4.4 deaths per 100 PYO for HIV-infected and uninfected patients, respectively; P < 0.0001). Probability of survival at 24 months was estimated as 59% and 81%, respectively. We observed no increase in relapse or mortality among previously treated patients compared with new patients. A positive smear at 2 months did not predict relapse or mortality. Conclusion: Relapse rates are acceptably low following successful DOT with a twice weekly rifampicin-containing regimen, irrespective of HIV status and previous treatment history. Mortality is substantially increased among HIV-infected patients even following successful DOT and this requires further attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1547
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Directly observed therapy
  • HIV
  • Mortality rate
  • Rural Africa
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tuberculosis relapse

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