Impact of patient non-compliance on tuberculosis treatment regimens

Kylie Balotin, a student at Rice University, and Dr. Andreas Handel, in the UGA Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, worked together to model the effect of patient compliance on the effectiveness of tuberculosis treatments.

Kylie Balotin1 and Andreas Handel2

1 Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005, USA1

2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health,

University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA

Tuberculosis is a leading cause of death in the world today and infects about one third of the world’s population. WHO currently recommends a standard treatment for TB consisting of multiple drugs. Alternative drug combinations are also being investigated as possible regimens. Although the current standard treatment is fairly effective, due to factors including the long treatment time of tuberculosis, many patients do not follow the entire treatment regimen. This noncompliance could lead to the relapse of the patient and the emergence of resistance to anti-TB drugs. The objective of this study is to use a mathematical model that simulates TB drug treatment and patient non-compliance in order to investigate the effect of patient compliance with three TB treatment regimens (the standard regimen, Remox 1, and Remox 2) a percentage of the time. We show that Remox 2 is generally more forgiving towards patient non-compliance than the other two regimens.


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