Multidrug‑Resistant Tuberculosis in Imo State, Southeast, Nigeria

  • I.I.E. Ahiarakwem
  • I.M. Ekejindu
  • C.N. Akujobi
  • IN Aghanya
Keywords: Imo State; Nigeria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, multidrug‑resistant tuberculosis, new and previously treated TB cases, tuberculosis


Background: Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a global health challenge. The emergence of MDR TB has contributed remarkably to the spread of tuberculosis and also poses a threat, which if not effectively addressed may wipe out the achievements of previous efforts in controlling tuberculosis. Objective: This study was aimed at detecting MDR-TB among patients in a setting prevalent with tuberculosis and HIV in Southeast, Nigeria. Method: Sputum specimens collected from 740 suspected tuberculosis (TB) patients were screened for acid-fast bacilli (AFB). All the 111 AFB positive samples were subjected to culture on Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) medium and Mycobacterium Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) 960 TB system. The isolates were then confirmed as Mycobacterium tuberculosis using SD Bioline Rapid Diagnostic Tests before being subjected to drug susceptibility testing to first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB was determined by isolates being resistant to both isoniazid and rifampicin. HIV testing was performed for participants included in the study using standard rapid diagnostic tests. Result: Out of the 111 AFB-positive sputum samples, 65 (58.6%) were culture-positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. MDR-TB was found in 2 ([3.1%] 95% CI = 0.0–7.3) of the culture-positive samples. The rate of TB and HIV coinfection was 7.7%. Maximum single-drug resistance was seen in ethambutol 12 ([18.5%] 95% CI = 9.0–27.9). Conclusion: The MDR-TB rate of 3.1% found in this study was relatively low and efforts should be intensified to keep it low.


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eISSN: 1119-3077