Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in an Adult with Cystic Fibrosis

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is rare. We report a 22-year-old CF patient with high fever, dyspnea and weight loss that progressively worsened over 2 weeks before admission. The patient suffered from liver cirrhosis, was colonized with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and had been repeatedly hospitalized for pulmonary infections. The patient was treated initially as for an exacerbation of P. aeruginosa infection, but tuberculosis (TBC) was suspected due to lack of improvement. A CT of the chest revealed enlarged bilateral cavities in the upper and middle lobes. A tuberculin skin test was positive, and M. tuberculosis nucleic acid was isolated from sputum samples. After receiving first-line anti-TBC drugs for 1 month, the patient's condition continued to worsen so molecular drug susceptibility testing was performed. Multidrug-resistant TBC was discovered, leading to a change in regimen. The patient was treated with ethionamide, moxifloxacin, linezolid, amikacin, imipenem/cilastatin and rifabutin and showed a remarkable clinical improvement. Although nontuberculous mycobacteria are more common in CF, the possibility of TBC should not be ignored. In that setting, early suspicion of infection due to resistant M. tuberculosis can be life saving.

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