Background: Mycobacterium tuberculosis drug resistance is a major challenge to the use of standardized regimens for tuberculosis (TB) therapy, especially among previously treated patients. We aimed to investigate the frequency and pattern of drug resistance among previously treated patients with smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital Chest Clinic, Accra.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of mycobacterial isolates from previously treated patients referred to the Chest Clinic Laboratory between October 2010 and October 2013. The Bactec MGIT 960 system for mycobactrerial culture and drug sensitivity testing (DST) was used for sputum culture of AFB smear-positive patients with relapse, treatment failure, failure of smear conversion, or default. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize patient characteristics, and frequency and patterns of drug resistance.
Results: A total of 112 isolates were studied out of 155 from previously treated patients. Twenty contaminated (12.9%) and 23 non-viable isolates (14.8%) were excluded. Of the 112 studied isolates, 53 (47.3%) were pan-sensitive to all first-line drugs tested Any resistance (mono and poly resistance) to isoniazid was found in 44 isolates (39.3%) and any resistance to streptomycin in 43 (38.4%). Thirty-one (27.7%) were MDR-TB. Eleven (35.5%) out of 31 MDR-TB isolates were pre-XDR. MDR-TB isolates were more likely than non-MDR isolates to have streptomycin and ethambutol resistance.
Conclusions: The main findings of this study were the high prevalence of MDR-TB and streptomycin resistance among previously treated TB patients, as well as a high prevalence of pre-XDR-TB among the MDR-TB patients, which suggest that first-line and second-line DST is essential to aid the design of effective regimens for these groups of patients in Ghana.