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      The burden of transmitted multi-drug resistance among epidemics of tuberculosis: A transmission model

      , MD 1 , , BA 2 , , MD 2
      The Lancet. Respiratory medicine

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          Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) can be acquired through de novo mutation during TB treatment or through transmission from other individuals with active MDR-TB. Understanding the balance between these two mechanisms is essential when allocating resources for MDR-TB.


          We constructed a dynamic transmission model of an MDR-TB epidemic, allowing for both treatment-related acquisition and person-to-person transmission of resistance. We used national TB notification data to inform Bayesian estimates of the fraction of each country’s 2013 MDR-TB incidence that resulted from MDR transmission rather than treatment-related MDR acquisition.


          Global estimates of 3·5% MDR-TB prevalence among new TB notifications and 20·5% among retreatment notifications translate into an estimate that resistance transmission rather than acquisition accounts for a median 96% (95% UR: 68–100%) of all incident MDR-TB, and 61% (16–95%) of incident MDR-TB in previously-treated individuals. The estimated percentage of MDR-TB resulting from transmission varied substantially with different countries’ notification data; for example, we estimated this percentage at 48% (30–75%) of MDR-TB in Bangladesh, versus 99% (91–100%) in Uzbekistan. Estimates were most sensitive to estimates of the transmissibility of MDR strains, the probability of acquiring MDR during tuberculosis treatment, and the responsiveness of MDR TB to first-line treatment.


          Notifications of MDR prevalence from most high-burden settings are most consistent with the vast majority of incident MDR-TB resulting from transmission rather than new treatment-related acquisition of resistance. Merely improving the treatment of drug-susceptible TB is unlikely to greatly reduce future MDR-TB incidence. Improved diagnosis and treatment of MDR-TB – including new tests and drug regimens – should be highly prioritized.

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          Most cited references58

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          R: A language and environment for statistical computing

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            National survey of drug-resistant tuberculosis in China.

            The available information on the epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis in China is based on local or regional surveys. In 2007, we carried out a national survey of drug-resistant tuberculosis in China. We estimated the proportion of tuberculosis cases in China that were resistant to drugs by means of cluster-randomized sampling of tuberculosis cases in the public health system and testing for resistance to the first-line antituberculosis drugs isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, and streptomycin and the second-line drugs ofloxacin and kanamycin. We used the results from this survey and published estimates of the incidence of tuberculosis to estimate the incidence of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Information from patient interviews was used to identify factors linked to drug resistance. Among 3037 patients with new cases of tuberculosis and 892 with previously treated cases, 5.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.5 to 7.0) and 25.6% (95% CI, 21.5 to 29.8), respectively, had multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (defined as disease that was resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin). Among all patients with tuberculosis, approximately 1 of 4 had disease that was resistant to isoniazid, rifampin, or both, and 1 of 10 had MDR tuberculosis. Approximately 8% of the patients with MDR tuberculosis had extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (defined as disease that was resistant to at least isoniazid, rifampin, ofloxacin, and kanamycin). In 2007, there were 110,000 incident cases (95% CI, 97,000 to 130,000) of MDR tuberculosis and 8200 incident cases (95% CI, 7200 to 9700) of XDR tuberculosis. Most cases of MDR and XDR tuberculosis resulted from primary transmission. Patients with multiple previous treatments who had received their last treatment in a tuberculosis hospital had the highest risk of MDR tuberculosis (adjusted odds ratio, 13.3; 95% CI, 3.9 to 46.0). Among 226 previously treated patients with MDR tuberculosis, 43.8% had not completed their last treatment; most had been treated in the hospital system. Among those who had completed treatment, tuberculosis developed again in most of the patients after their treatment in the public health system. China has a serious epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis. MDR tuberculosis is linked to inadequate treatment in both the public health system and the hospital system, especially tuberculosis hospitals; however, primary transmission accounts for most cases. (Funded by the Chinese Ministry of Health.).
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              Evolutionary history and global spread of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing lineage.

              Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains of the Beijing lineage are globally distributed and are associated with the massive spread of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis in Eurasia. Here we reconstructed the biogeographical structure and evolutionary history of this lineage by genetic analysis of 4,987 isolates from 99 countries and whole-genome sequencing of 110 representative isolates. We show that this lineage initially originated in the Far East, from where it radiated worldwide in several waves. We detected successive increases in population size for this pathogen over the last 200 years, practically coinciding with the Industrial Revolution, the First World War and HIV epidemics. Two MDR clones of this lineage started to spread throughout central Asia and Russia concomitantly with the collapse of the public health system in the former Soviet Union. Mutations identified in genes putatively under positive selection and associated with virulence might have favored the expansion of the most successful branches of the lineage.

                Author and article information

                Lancet Respir Med
                Lancet Respir Med
                The Lancet. Respiratory medicine
                27 November 2015
                18 November 2015
                December 2015
                01 December 2016
                : 3
                : 12
                : 963-972
                [1 ]Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
                [2 ]Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Emily Kendall, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, PCTB Suite 211, 725 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21205, ekendal2@ 123456jhmi.edu , Phone: +1-812-568-2373

                This manuscript version is made available under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.



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