PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Science Policy

Linkage of Presumptive Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Patients to Diagnostic and Treatment Services in Cambodia
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Author: Sokhan Khann et al.

by Sokhan Khann, Eang Tan Mao, Yadav Prasad Rajendra, Srinath Satyanarayana, Sharath Burugina Nagaraja, Ajay M. V. Kumar


National Tuberculosis Programme, Cambodia.


In a cohort of TB patients, to ascertain the proportion of patients who fulfil the criteria for presumptive MDR-TB, assess whether they underwent investigation for MDR-TB, and the results of the culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST).


A cross sectional record review of TB patients registered for treatment between July-December 2011.


Of 19,236 TB patients registered, 409 (2%) fulfilled the criteria of presumptive MDR-TB; of these, 187 (46%) were examined for culture. This proportion was higher among relapse, failure, return after default (RAD) and non-converters at 3 months of new smear positive TB patients (>60%) as compared to non-converters at 2 months of new TB cases (<20%). Nearly two thirds (n?=?113) of the samples were culture positive; of these, three-fourth (n?=?85) grew Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBc) and one-fourth (n?=?28) grew non-tuberculous Mycobacteria. DST results were available for 96% of the MTBc isolates. Overall, 21 patients were diagnosed as MDR-TB (all diagnosed among retreatment TB cases and none from non-converters) and all of them were initiated on MDR-TB treatment.


There is a need to strengthen mechanisms for linking patients with presumptive MDR-TB to culture centers. The policy of testing non-converters for culture and DST needs to be reviewed.