Cost-effectiveness analysis of introduction of rapid, alternative methods to identify multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in middle-income countries

Academic Article


  • Background. Resistance to commonly used antituberculosis drugs is emerging worldwide. Conventional drug-susceptibility testing (DST) methods are slow and demanding. Alternative, rapid DST methods would permit the early detection of drug resistance and, in turn, arrest tuberculosis transmission. Methods. A cost-effectiveness analysis of 5 DST methods was performed in the context of a clinical trial that compared rapid with conventional DST methods. The methods under investigation were direct phage-replication assay (FASTPlaque-Response; Biotech), direct amplification and reverse hybridization of the rpoB gene (INNOLiPA; Innogenetics), indirect colorimetric minimum inhibitory concentration assay (MTT; ICN Biomedicals), and direct proportion method on Löwenstein-Jensen medium. These were compared with the widely used indirect proportion method on Löwenstein-Jensen medium. Results. All alternative DST methods were found to be cost-effective, compared with other health care interventions. DST methods also generate substantial cost savings in settings of high prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Excluding the effects of transmission, the direct proportion method on Löwenstein-Jensen medium was the most cost-effective alternative DST method for patient groups with prevalences of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis of 2%, 5%, 20%, and 50% (cost in US$2004, $94, $36, $8, and $2 per disability-adjusted life year, respectively). Conclusion. Alternative, rapid methods for DST are cost-effective and should be considered for use by national tuberculosis programs in middle-income countries. © 2008 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.
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    Author List

  • Acuna-Villaorduna C; Vassall A; Henostroza G; Seas C; Guerra H; Vasquez L; Morcillo N; Saravia J; O'Brien R; Perkins MD
  • Start Page

  • 487
  • End Page

  • 495
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 4