Initial Drug Regimens for the Treatment of Tuberculosis: Methods
Tuberculosis Surveillance Data
All persons diagnosed with TB in New Jersey are required to be reported to the Tuberculosis Control Program of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Program staff members verify cases according to CDC surveillance criteria. In response to the increase in TB morbidity and outbreaks of MDRTB in the United States, expanded TB surveillance was implemented nationwide in 1993. The details of the expanded surveillance system have been described elsewhere. In addition to the demographic and clinical information collected previously, new epidemiologic and clinical variables were added to the surveillance system, including HIV infection, injecting drug or excessive alcohol use within the past year, homelessness, residence at time of diagnosis (correctional or long-term care facilities), occupation, initial drug regimen, initial drug susceptibility testing results, completion of chemotherapy, and directly observed therapy. canadian neighbor pharmacy
Data on drug susceptibility testing for approximately 75% to 80% of TB patients are reported to the state health department by commercial clinical laboratories and hospital laboratories. The state mycobacteriology laboratory processes isolates from the remaining TB patients reported in New Jersey. Methods for drug susceptibility testing may vaiy among different laboratories. However, an isolate is defined as resistant to a drug if there is any degree of resistance, even partial resistance or resistance at a low concentration of the drug. This study used the results of susceptibility testing on the first isolate that was tested for drug susceptibility.
Initial Drug Regimens and Initial Care Providers
Initial drug regimens for all verified TB patients were collected as a part of the expanded TB surveillance system. Both the total number of drugs initially prescribed and specific regimens recommended by ATS/CDC were evaluated in this study. Information on initial care providers was also collected locally for all TB patients included in this study. Initial care providers are defined as the physicians who initiate TB therapy.