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Africa: MDR TB Research Paper

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Printed Date: March 24 2019 at 2:28pm

Topic: Africa: MDR TB Research Paper
Posted By: Technophobe
Subject: Africa: MDR TB Research Paper
Date Posted: April 22 2018 at 2:43am



Globally, per-capita, South Africa reports a disproportionately high number of cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis. We sought to estimate the prevalence of resistance to tuberculosis drugs in newly diagnosed and retreated patients with tuberculosis provincially and nationally, and compared these with the 2001–02 estimates.


A cross-sectional survey was done between June 15, 2012–June 14, 2014, using population proportionate randomised cluster sampling in the nine provinces in South Africa. 343 clusters were included, ranging between 31 and 48 per province. A patient was eligible for inclusion in the survey if he or she presented as a presumptive case during the intake period at a drug resistance survey enrolling facility. Consenting participants (≥18 years old) completed a questionnaire and had a sputum sample tested for resistance to first-line and second-line drugs. Analysis was by logistic regression with robust SEs, inverse probability weighted against routine data, and estimates were derived using a random effects model.


101 422 participants were tested in 2012–14. Nationally, the prevalence of MDR tuberculosis was 2·1% (95% CI 1·5–2·7) among new tuberculosis cases and 4·6% (3·2–6·0) among retreatment cases. The provincial point prevalence of MDR tuberculosis ranged between 1·6% (95% CI 0·9–2·9) and 5·1% (3·7–7·0). Overall, the prevalence of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (4·6%, 95% CI 3·5–5·7) was higher than the prevalence of MDR tuberculosis (2·8%, 2·0–3·6; p=0·01). Comparing the current survey with the previous (2001–02) survey, the overall MDR tuberculosis prevalence was 2·8% versus 2·9% and prevalance of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis was 3·4% versus 1·8%, respectively. The prevalence of isoniazid mono-resistant tuberculosis was above 5% in all provinces. The prevalence of ethionamide and pyrazinamide resistance among MDR tuberculosis cases was 44·7% (95% CI 25·9–63·6) and 59·1% (49·0–69·1), respectively. The prevalence of XDR tuberculosis was 4·9% (95% CI 1·0–8·8). Nationally, the estimated numbers of cases of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis, MDR tuberculosis, and isoniazid mono-resistant tuberculosis for 2014 were 13 551, 8249, and 17 970, respectively.


The overall prevalence of MDR tuberculosis in South Africa in 2012–14 was similar to that in 2001–02; however, prevalence of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis almost doubled among new cases. Furthermore, the high prevalence of isoniazid mono-resistant tuberculosis, not routinely screened for, and resistance to second-line drugs has implications for empirical management.


President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the terms of 1U19GH000571.

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[Technophobe interpretation:  Things are slowly but inexorably growing worse.  Rifampicin and isoniazid are the basis of standard TB treatments.]

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

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