Aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss: South Africans at risk

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    South Africa is currently experiencing a TB epidemic with an estimated incidence of 940/100 000 population/year, and the country has been ranked 4th among the 22 high-burden TB countries worldwide by the World Health Organization (WHO). A potentially devastating threat to TB control is the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and, more recently, extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), mainly as a result of poor drug adherence by TB patients and incorrect management or treatment regimens by health providers; however, direct transmission of drug-resistant strains also plays an important role. The MDR/XDR-TB strains necessitate prolonged chemotherapy for up to 2 years or more, and the use of more toxic second-line drugs including the aminoglycoside (streptomycin, kanamycin and amikacin) and polypeptide (capreomycin) antibiotics. In South Africa, in accordance with WHO guidelines, streptomycin is used for retreatment of TB while kanamycin, amikacin and capreomycin are used to treat MDR/XDR-TB.