Introduction: Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is an emerging global health risk. We present the first case report of XDR-TB in Singapore.Clinical Picture: A 41-year-old Indonesian lady with previously treated pulmonary tuberculosis presented with chronic cough. Her sputum was strongly acid-fast bacilli positive and grew Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex resistant to first and second-line TB medications. Treatment: She received 5 months of intensive multidrug treatment without sputum smear conversion. She then underwent resection of the diseased lung. The total cost incurred amounted to over S$100,000. Outcome: She achieved sputum smear/culture conversion post-surgery, but will require further medical therapy for at least 18 months. Conclusion: XDR-TB is poorly responsive to therapy and extremely expensive to manage. Its prevention by strict compliance to therapy is paramount.
Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is defined as TB which is resistant not only to the 2 best first-line anti-TB medications, rifampicin and isoniazid (known as multidrug-resistant or MDR-TB), but also to at least 1 of 3 injectable second-line agents (amikacin, kanamycin or capreomycin) and to any fluoroquinolone. XDR-TB is extremely difficult to treat, requiring the prolonged use of costly, but less effective and more toxic second and third-line medications. XDR-TB has already been reported in 58 countries and has emerged as a global health threat. We report our experience with the first XDR-TB case treated in Singapore since this condition was first defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006.
This article is available only as a PDF. Please click on “Download PDF” on top to view the full article.