Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

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A meta-analysis of Drug resistant Tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa: How Strongly Associated with previous Treatment and HIV Co-infection?

A Berhan, Y Berhan, D Yizengaw


Background: In Sub-Saharan Africa, the fight against tuberculosis (TB) has encountered a great challenge because of the emergence of drug resistant TB strains and the high prevalence of HIV infection. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the association of drug-resistant TB with anti-TB drug treatment history and HIV co-infection.
Methods: After electronic based literature search in the databases of Medline, HINARI, EMBASE and the Cochrane library, article selection and data extraction were carried out. HIV co-infection and previous history of TB treatment were used as predictors for the occurrence of any anti-TB drug resistant or multiple drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). The risk ratios for each included study and for the pooledsample were computed using the random-effects model. Heterogeneity test, sensitivity analyses and funnel plots were also done.
Results: The pooled analysis showed that the risk of developing drug-resistant TB to at least one anti-TB drug was about 3 times higher in individuals who had a previous history of anti-TB treatment than new TB cases. The risk of having MDR-TB in previously anti-TB treated TB cases was more than 5-fold higher than that of new TB cases. Resistance to Ethambutol and Rifampicin was more than fivefold higher among the previously treated with anti-TB drugs. However, HIV infection was not associated with drug-resistant TB.
Conclusion: There was a strong association of previous anti-TB treatment with MDR-TB. Primary treatment warrants special emphasis, and screening for anti-TB drugs sensitivity has to be strengthened.

Keywords: drug resistance, HIV, meta-analysis, previous treatment, tuberculosis, Sub-Saharan Africa
AJOL African Journals Online