Strategies Can Prevent Resistant Tuberculosis Spread

Can avert about half of cases, even in a rural setting

FRIDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of hospital infection control strategies could prevent the spread of nearly half of cases of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis, even in a rural community with limited resources, researchers report in the Oct. 27 issue of The Lancet.

Sanjay Basu, from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues used a mathematical model to simulate the effect of various hospital infection control strategies on the spread of XDR tuberculosis in a rural area of South Africa with high HIV prevalence.

The researchers found that without any intervention, there would be an estimated 1,300 cases of XDR tuberculosis by the end of 2012, where more than half would occur through hospital transmission. Using a mask would avert about 10 percent of cases, while adding reduced hospitalization time and shifting to outpatient therapy would avert nearly one-third of cases. Adding improved ventilation, rapid drug resistance testing, HIV treatment and tuberculosis isolation facilities would avert 48 percent of cases.

"A synergistic combination of available nosocomial infection control strategies could prevent nearly half of XDR tuberculosis cases, even in a resource-limited setting," Basu and colleagues conclude.

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