Impact of bedaquiline on treatment outcomes of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in a high-burden country.
Evaluation of novel anti-tuberculosis (TB) medicines for the treatment of multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB continues to be of high interest on the TB research agenda. We assessed treatment outcomes in patients with pulmonary MDR-TB who received bedaquiline containing treatment regimens in the Republic of Moldova, a high-burden country of MDR-TB.We systematically analysed the “SIMETB” national electronic TB database in the Republic of Moldova and performed a retrospective propensity score matched comparison of treatment outcomes in a cohort of patients with MDR-TB who started treatment during 2016-2018 with a bedaquiline-containing regimen (bedaquiline cohort) and a cohort of patients treated without bedaquiline (non-bedaquiline cohort).Following propensity score matching, 114 patients were assigned to each cohort of MDR-TB patients. Patients in the bedaquiline cohort had a higher 6 month sputum culture conversion rate than those in the non-bedaquiline cohort, (66.7% versus 40.3%, p<0.001). Patients under bedaquiline containing regimens had a higher cure rate assessed by both WHO and TBNET definitions (55.3% versus 24.6%, p=0.001 and 43.5% versus 19.6% p=0.004, correspondingly), as well, a lower mortality rate (8.8% versus 20.2%, p<0.001, by WHO and 10.9% versus 25.2%, p=0.01, by TBNET). In patients who previously failed on MDR-TB treatment, more than 40% of patients achieved cure with a bedaquiline-containing regimen.Bedaquiline-based MDR-TB treatment regimens result in better disease resolution when compared to bedaquiline-sparing MDR-TB treatment regimens under programmatic conditions in a country with a high-burden of MDR-TB.