Comparison of Sputum-Culture Conversion for Mycobacterium bovis and M. tuberculosis

Scott, Colleen; Cavanaugh, Joseph S.; Silk, Benjamin J.; Ershova, Julia; Mazurek, Gerald H.; LoBue, Philip A.; Moonan, Patrick K.
March 2017
Emerging Infectious Diseases;Mar2017, p456
Academic Journal
journal article
Current US guidelines recommend longer treatment for tuberculosis (TB) caused by pyrazinamide-resistant organisms (e.g., Mycobacterium bovis) than for M. tuberculosis TB. We compared treatment response times for patients with M. bovis TB and M. tuberculosis TB reported in the United States during 2006-2013. We included culture-positive, pulmonary TB patients with genotyping results who received standard 4-drug treatment at the time of diagnosis. Time to sputum-culture conversion was defined as time between treatment start date and date of first consistently culture-negative sputum. We analyzed 297 case-patients with M. bovis TB and 30,848 case-patients with M. tuberculosis TB. After 2 months of treatment, 71% of M. bovis and 65% of M. tuberculosis TB patients showed conversion of sputum cultures to negative. Likelihood of culture conversion was higher for M. bovis than for M. tuberculosis, even after controlling for treatment administration type, sex, and a composite indicator of bacillary burden.


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