Obioma Azuonwu*, Ihua N and Kpomasiruchi W
Background: An increasing global incidence of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MTB), and emergence of drug resistant strains of MTB, have critically promoted the urgent need to explore better effective methods that can rapidly detect MTB, and identify drug-resistant cases as recommended by World Health Organization report of 2008. Globally, multi-drug-resistant strains of MTB are increasingly becoming a huge public health issue, which has adversely affected the health care delivery of patients, especially in developing communities with limited functioning health care facility. Nonetheless, the aim and focus of the study is to evaluate the trend of rifampicin resistance strains of MTB among patients accessing care at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
Methods: This observational cross-sectional study which utilized stratified proportionate random technique, was designed to evaluate the molecular detection, as well as the prevalence of MTB and multidrug resistant TB specifically RIF among the studied population.
Results: The study population were 204 subjects recruited randomly, with a mean age of 37.23 ± 16.68 years and were categorized based on sex, 93 (45.6%) males and 111 (54.4%) females respectively. The MTB detected were 21 (10.3%) while 183 (89.7%) were negative. Also, drug resistant test was performed specifically for RIF to ascertain RIF resistant strain and the non-RIF resistant strains; only 6 (2.9%) were resistant to RIF while 197 (96.6%) were not resistant to RIF. Correlation analysis of MTB detected between sex, age and resistant to RIF showed nonsignificant association (p>0.05). The prevalence rates include: 2.9% and 7.4% for RIF Resistance and Non-RIF resistance respectively. Chi square result reported about 90% non-significance and 10% significance which occurred in the counts between RIF resistant and MTB detected (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The use of dependable molecular detection of MTB method has been able to provide strong epidemiological impetus for an enhanced MTB diagnosis and management to be encouraged and should be sustained, especially in resources limited regions like Nigeria, with massive challenges of prompt and accurate diagnosis of the infection. However, it is strongly believed that continuous leveraging on the potency of the molecular diagnostic approach will help to uncover the rifampicin resistance strains, which obviously would have been a huge challenge with the routine microscopic smear method.