Analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from treatment failure patients living in East Timor

P. M. Kelly*, R. Lumb, A. Pinto, G. Da Costa, J. Sarmento, I. Bastian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


SETTING: In the first 2 years of the East Timor National TB Control Programme, 7960 new patients were treated (2RHZE/6HE) and 224 received a retreatment regimen (2SRHZE/1RHZE/4R3H3Z3E 3). OBJECTIVE: To determine the nature and extent of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in treatment failure cases in East Timor. METHODS: Sputum specimens from retreatment failure cases were processed and inoculated into a BACTEC MGIT960 tube and onto Löwenstein-Jensen media. Isolates were identified by Ziehl-Neelsen staining, hybridisation with nucleic acid probes and biochemical investigations. Susceptibility testing was performed using the radiometric proportion method. Pyrazinamide testing was performed using the Wayne indirect method. RESULTS: Eighteen patients failed retreatment (0.7% of new cases) and 14 were available for analysis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was cultured from all specimens, despite considerable transport delays. Nine (64.3%) had multiple drug resistance (MDR-TB) and four (28.6%) had other drug resistance. All MDR-TB isolates were susceptible to amikacin, capreomycin and ethionamide, with most also susceptible to ciprofloxacin and paraaminosalicylic acid (PAS). CONCLUSIONS: An excellent TB control programme has been established in East Timor. If funds are available, East Timor provides an ideal setting for a small-scale DOTS-Plus programme to treat prevalent cases of MDR-TB, and this study could inform the second-line drug regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


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