Impact of tuberculosis treatment length and adherence under different transmission intensities

S. T.R. Pinho*, P. Rodrigues, R. F.S. Andrade, H. Serra, J. S. Lopes, M. G.M. Gomes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of human mortality due to infectious disease. Treatment default is a relevant factor which reduces therapeutic success and increases the risk of resistant TB. In this work we analyze the relation between treatment default and treatment length along with its consequence on the disease spreading. We use a stylized model structure to explore, systematically, the effects of varying treatment duration and compliance. We find that shortening treatment alone may not reduce TB prevalence, especially in regions where transmission intensity is high, indicating the necessity of complementing this action with increased compliance. A family of default functions relating the proportion of defaulters to the treatment length is considered and adjusted to a particular dataset. We find that the epidemiological benefits of shorter treatment regimens are tightly associated with increases in treatment compliance and depend on the epidemiological background.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalTheoretical Population Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • default
  • mathematical model
  • reinfection
  • treatment
  • tuberculosis


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