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Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Mar 1;38(5):731-6. Epub 2004 Feb 17.

Risk factors for relapse and acquired rifamycin resistance after directly observed tuberculosis treatment: a comparison by HIV serostatus and rifamycin use.

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  • 1Center for Tuberculosis Research, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


We sought to determine the risk of acquired rifamycin resistant (ARR) tuberculosis associated with rifampin- versus rifabutin-based directly observed therapy and to assess the risk factors for relapse of tuberculosis. This observational cohort study included patients with culture-confirmed rifamycin-susceptible tuberculosis reported to the Baltimore City Health Department (Baltimore, MD) during the period of January 1993 through December 2001. Of the 407 patients, 108 (27%) were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive, 161 (40%) were HIV seronegative, and 138 (34%) had an unknown serostatus. Three (2.8%) of 108 HIV-seropositive persons had ARR tuberculosis, compared with 0 of 299 persons with negative or unknown HIV serostatus (P=.02). Among HIV-seropositive patients, 3 (3.7%) of 81 who were treated with rifampin and 0 of 27 who were treated with rifabutin had ARR tuberculosis (P=.57). Among HIV-seropositive patients, the only risk factor for recurrent tuberculosis was a low median initial CD4+ T lymphocyte count (51 vs. 138 cells/mm3; P=.02). The median CD4+ T lymphocyte count among patients with ARR tuberculosis was 51 cells/mm3. ARR tuberculosis can occur with rifampin-based regimens, but in this study, the risk was not significantly higher than that for a rifabutin-based regimen.

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