High proportion of RR-TB and mutations conferring RR outside of the RRDR of the rpoB gene detected in GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay positive pulmonary tuberculosis cases, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

PLoS One. 2022 Dec 30;17(12):e0277145. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277145. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: Globally, TB is the leading cause of infectious disease morbidity and mortality with many diagnostic uncertainties. Access to affordable and rapid diagnostics remained a major challenge for many developing countries which bear the greatest burden of TB delaying the initiation time to treatment.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the GeneXpert MTBRIF assay probe utility for the detection of pulmonary TB and Rifampicin-resistant TB cases in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed from October 2019 to July 2020 in Saint Peter TB Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa metropolitan area, Ethiopia. This study enrolled 216 clinically suspected new presumptive pulmonary TB cases confirmed by GeneXpert MTB/RIF Assay. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were captured using a structured tool. Data were entered in Microsoft Excel 2019, checked for inconsistency, cleaned promptly, and exported to IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 26.0. Armonk, N.Y: IBM Corp, the USA for analysis. Descriptive analysis and binary and multivariate logistics regression were performed and all statistical significance was determined at a 95% confidence level.

RESULTS: The majority of the study participants, 55.1% [119/216] were males aged 6-80 years. The prevalence of RR MTB was 11.11% [24/216]. A higher proportion of RR TB was found in female patients [54.2%, 13/24], in patients in the age group of 30-50 years [45.8%, 11/24], in married individuals [62.5%, 15/24], in persons whose residence is urban [79.2%, 19/24], in persons who had a previous history of TB symptoms [100%, 24/24], in persons who had a history of contact with active and LTBI [33.3%, 8/24], and in persons who had a history of HIV and IDUs [41.7%, 10/24]. Occupation (AOR 22.868, 95% CI 1.655-316.022, p = 0.019), history of previous PTB+ (AOR 4.222, 95% CI 1.020-17.47, p = 0.047), and history of HIV and IDUs (AOR 4.733, 95% CI 1.416-15.819, p = 0.012) were independent predictors associated with RR-TB emergence. The commonest mutation 62.5% [15/24] was found in probe E (codons 529-533) region. There was no mutation associated with probe A (codons 507-511), probe B (codons 511-518), and probe C (codons 518-523) regions, as well as no combination of missed probes, was revealed. However, 12.5% [3/24] of RR TB patients were found without unidentified missed probe types detected outside of the RRDR. The delta Ct max was >4.0 and the highest proportion of 35.6% [77/216] RR TB was detected in samples of medium DNA load.

CONCLUSION: The proportion of RR-TB we observed in this study was high. Similarly, a higher proportion of RR TB was detected outside of the RRDR. Moreover, a significant number of the GeneXpert MTB/RIF Assay probes were identified as unhybridized and this critical observation would mean that most of the probes had no or minimal utility in this geographical region. This calls for further studies to uncover mutation in the rpoB gene conferring RR and reshape TB triage and definite diagnostic algorithm in Ethiopia.

PMID:36584037 | PMC:PMC9803184 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0277145


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