Five drug-resistant TB patients responding well to treatment, say docs
Five of the nine tuberculosis (TB) patients who were detected resistant to all TB drugs by Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, in January are responding well to treatment.mumbai Updated: May 02, 2012 01:12 IST
Five of the nine tuberculosis (TB) patients who were detected resistant to all TB drugs by Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, in January are responding well to treatment.
“For about a month now, their sputum samples have been negative. The patients have been put on a ‘salvage regime’ consisting of four antibiotics used in diseases other than TB,” said Dr Zarir Udwadia, consultant chest physician, Hinduja Hospital.
In January, Hinduja Hospital had announced 12 cases of total-drug resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB), a term which is not accepted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). “Five of the first 12 patients are smear negative. This shows that they are on the road to recovery,” said Dr Udwadia. “But they obviously have a long way to go and can become positive again over a period of time if the resistant strains of bacteria re-assert themselves.” Three of these 12 patients have died earlier this year.
“It is good news if patients are responding to the salvage regime. This means that they are responding to these combinations of treatment, especially in these cases with a high rate of failure and mortality rate,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, deputy director, National Institute of Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT), Chennai.
On April 19, the National Tuberculosis Institute (NTI), Bangalore also confirmed that all eight patients whose sputum samples were sent for a re-test have shown resistance to all the known TB drugs (first and second line).
Speaking about the confirmation of cases by NTI, Dr Udwadia said that the Hinduja team is feeling “vindicated.” “This disease has no official name. But it is different from extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) where there are treatment options of at least one drug and one injectible. In this case, there are almost no options. However, there is some hope for these patients with the salvage regimen,” said Dr Udwadia.