#Prevalence of drug- #resistant #tuberculosis and imputed burden in #SouthAfrica: a national and sub-national cross-sectional survey (Lancet Infect Dis., abstract)

[Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis and imputed burden in South Africa: a national and sub-national cross-sectional survey

Nazir Ahmed Ismail, FCPath, Lindiwe Mvusi, MBChB, Ananta Nanoo, MSc, Andries Dreyer, FCPath, Shaheed V Omar, PhD, Sanni Babatunde, PhD, Thabo Molebatsi, MPH, Martie van der Walt, PhD, Adeboye Adelekan, PhD, Varough Deyde, PhD, Chikwe Ihekweazu, FFPH†, Prof Shabir A Madhi, PhD†

† Contributed equally

Published: 20 April 2018 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30222-6

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




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.

Keywords: South Africa; Tuberculosis; Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; MDR-TB; Rifampicin; Isoniazid.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.