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Treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis. An Official ATS/CDC/ERS/IDSA Clinical Practice Guideline

Published ,

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Volume 200, Issue 10, 15 November 2019, Pages e93-e142,
Published: 15 November 2019

An update to this guideline is in development (est. publication 12/2023), combined with an update to the Drug-Susceptible Tuberculosis guideline. This update will be a joint effort with the American Thoracic Society (ATS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Respiratory Society, and IDSA; the guideline update will be overseen by ATS.

Payam Nahid, Sundari R. Mase, Giovanni Battista Migliori, Giovanni Sotgiu, Graham H. Bothamley, Jan L. Brozek, Adithya Cattamanchi, J. Peter Cegielski, Lisa Chen, Charles L. Daley, Tracy L. Dalton, Raquel Duarte, Federica Fregonese, C. Robert Horsburgh Jr., Faiz Ahmad Khan, Fayez Kheir, Zhiyi Lan, Alfred Lardizabal, Michael Lauzardo, Joan M. Mangan, Suzanne M. Marks, Lindsay McKenna, Dick Menzies, Carole D. Mitnick, Diana M. Nilsen, Farah Parvez, Charles A. Peloquin, Ann Raftery, H. Simon Schaaf, Neha S. Shah, Jeffrey R. Starke, John W. Wilson, Jonathan M. Wortham, Terence Chorba, and Barbara Seaworth; on behalf of the American Thoracic Society, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Respiratory Society, and Infectious Diseases Society of America



The American Thoracic Society, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Respiratory Society, and Infectious Diseases Society of America jointly sponsored this new practice guideline on the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). The document includes recommendations on the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) as well as isoniazid-resistant but rifampin-susceptible TB.


Published systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and a new individual patient data meta-analysis from 12,030 patients, in 50 studies, across 25 countries with confirmed pulmonary rifampin-resistant TB were used for this guideline. Meta-analytic approaches included propensity score matching to reduce confounding. Each recommendation was discussed by an expert committee, screened for conflicts of interest, according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology.


Twenty-one Population, Intervention, Comparator, and Outcomes questions were addressed, generating 25 GRADE-based recommendations. Certainty in the evidence was judged to be very low, because the data came from observational studies with significant loss to follow-up and imbalance in background regimens between comparator groups. Good practices in the management of MDR-TB are described. On the basis of the evidence review, a clinical strategy tool for building a treatment regimen for MDR-TB is also provided.


New recommendations are made for the choice and number of drugs in a regimen, the duration of intensive and continuation phases, and the role of injectable drugs for MDR-TB. On the basis of these recommendations, an effective all-oral regimen for MDR-TB can be assembled. Recommendations are also provided on the role of surgery in treatment of MDR-TB and for treatment of contacts exposed to MDR-TB and treatment of isoniazid-resistant TB.


MDR-TB; tuberculosis; duration of treatment; drug treatment; treatment monitoring


For more information, please visit the American Thoracic Society's website.

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