What is it about?

The occurrence of adverse events during the course of drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment remains a major threat to poor treatment adherence and outcomes. Since HIV infection is also prevalent in patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis, we sought to explore how HIV infection may affect the development of adverse events. The results suggest that patients with HIV infection are at an increased risk of developing any adverse events during the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis by 12%. Specifically, said risks are higher in the development of hearing loss, kidney damage, and depression. However, the results are likely caused by the drug-drug interaction between antiretroviral drugs and antituberculosis drugs rather than the HIV infection itself.

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Why is it important?

Drug-resistant tuberculosis has a very high disease burden due to high rate of mortality and morbidity, long treatment duration, polypharmacy, and vulnerability to social stigma. Non-adherence to treatment regimen, which is commonly caused by unwanted side effects/adverse drug reactions, is deemed to be one of the most important causes of the increasing drug-resistant tuberculosis cases, thus suggesting the importance of our research. Our findings could help academics, clinicians, and stakeholders to better understand the relationship between HIV and drug-resistant tuberculosis, and to increase the pharmacovigilance of patients co-infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV. This is especially important since it is estimated that tuberculosis may coexist in up to 80% of people living with HIV.


This publication, awarded by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences for the best scientific article published by medical students in the field of clinical research related to pharmacovigilance in 2021, is important in increasing the awareness and understanding of pharmacovigilance of drug-resistant tuberculosis drugs in people living with HIV.

Gilbert Lazarus
Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The effect of human immunodeficiency virus infection on adverse events during treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis, PLoS ONE, March 2021, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0248017.
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