Special supplement on multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis

TDR news item
5 December 2014

A special supplement of 13 new research articles on multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Eastern Europe highlights some of the challenges and continuing research that is needed to address this problem. While mortality, incidence and prevalence rates of TB have been going down, cases of drug resistance are increasing.

This is the first time the journal, Public Health Action, which is The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, has published not only in English but also Russian so that the papers can be read by more people in the countries where the disease occurs.

SORT IT workshop
WHO/TDR/Jamie Guth

The articles identify the need to improve the early detection of drug resistant cases and care needed for this disease. In some countries, up to 50% of patients did not complete their treatment, and attempts to require hospitalisation or even incarceration often had negative effects – people tried to avoid this by not getting diagnosed and treated.

The articles came out of the Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (SORT IT) led by TDR, working in coordination with the originators of the training model, Médecins Sans Frontières (Brussels) and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). In this programme, the ministries of health and the country offices of the World Health Organization (WHO) worked with the WHO European regional office to identify operational challenges, select the control programme officers from the country for research training, and support them in a year-long process of writing a protocol, conducting the analysis and writing the research paper. Health administrators have committed to incorporating any findings and recommendations into policy and practice.

These are the articles that resulted from this SORT IT programme:

  • Alikhanova N, Akhundova I, Seyfaddinova M, Mammadbayov E, Mirtskulava V, Rüsch-Gerdes S, et al. First national survey of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance in Azerbaijan and risk factors analysis. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S17-S23.
  • Klimuk D, Hurevich H, Harries AD, Babrukevich A, Kremer K, Van den Bergh R, et al. Tuberculosis in health care workers in Belarus. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S29-S33.
  • Khaliaukin A, Kumar AMV, Skrahina A, Hurevich, H., Rusovich V, Gadoev J, et al. Poor treatment outcomes among multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Gomel Region, Republic of Belarus. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S24-S8.
  • Kuksa L, Riekstina V, Leimane V, Ozere I, Skenders G, Van den Bergh R, et al. Multi- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in Latvia: trends, characteristics and treatment outcomes. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S41-S6.
  • Lucenko I, Riekstina V, Perevoscikovs J, Mozgis D, Khogali M, Gadoev J, et al. Treatment outcomes among drug-susceptible tuberculosis patients in Latvia, 2006–2010. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S54-S8.
  • Toit K, Altraja A, Acosta CD, Viiklepp P, Kremer K, Kummik T, et al. A four-year nationwide molecular epidemiological study in Estonia: risk factors for tuberculosis transmission. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S34-S40.
  • Ciobanu A, Domente L, Soltan V, Bivol S, Severin L, Plesca V, et al. Do incentives improve tuberculosis treatment outcomes in the Republic of Moldova. Public Health Action 2014; 4(4): S59-S63.
  • Dolgusev O, Obevzenco N, Padalco O, Pankrushev S, Ramsay A, Van den Bergh R, et al. Pattern of primary tuberculosis drug resistance and associated treatment outcomes in Transnistria, Moldova. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S64-S.
  • Kuchukhidze G, Kumar AMV, de Colombani P, Khogali M, Nanava U, Blumberg HM, et al. Risk factors associated with loss to follow-up among multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Georgia. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S41-S6.
  • Davtyan K, Zachariah R, Davtyan H, Ramsay A, Denisiuk O, Manzi M, et al. Performance of decentralised facilities in tuberculosis case notification and treatment success in Armenia. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S13-S6.
  • Lytvynenko N, Cherenko S, Feschenko Y, Pogrebna M, Senko Y, Barbova A, et al. Management of multi- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in Ukraine: how well are we doing? Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S67-S72.
  • Acosta CD, Dadu A, Ramsay A, Dara M. Drug-resistant tuberculosis in Eastern Europe: challenges and ways forward. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S3-S12.
  • Cox H, Ford N. The scourge of tuberculosis and anti-tuberculosis drug resistance in Eastern Europe. Public Health Action. 2014; 4(4): S1-S2.

For more information, contact Andy Ramsay (ramsaya@who.int).