Document Type



Pathology (East Africa)


Introduction: In Kenya, which ranks thirteenth of 27 high tuberculosis burden countries, diagnosis is based on Ziehl-Neelsen staining alone and patients are treated without information on sensitivity patterns. This study aimed to determine resistance patterns of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolated from pulmonary samples.

Methodology: Pulmonary tuberculosis patients in Nairobi were randomly sampled after informed consent and recruited into the study using a structured questionnaire. Specimens were cultured in liquid and solid media, and drug susceptibility tests were performed for first-line drugs including (isoniazid, rifampin, streptomycin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide).

Results: Eighty-six (30%) of 286 isolates were resistant to at least one of five antibiotics tested. Thirty-seven (30.2%) isolates were resistant to isoniazid; 15 (11.6%) to streptomycin; 13 (4.5%) to ethambutol; four (1.4%) to rifampin ; and 30 (10.4%) to pyrazinamide. Double resistance was seen as follows: four (1.4%) isolates were resistant to both isoniazid and pyrazinamide; four (1.4%) to streptomycin and isoniazid; and one (0.3%) to rifampin and streptomycin. Two isolates (0.7%) were multidrug resistant, and one was triple resistant with an additional resistance to ethambutol. Results also showed 88.7% of patients were below the age of 40 years, while 26.3% were HIV positive. The majority of the patients (66.5%) were unemployed or self-employed in small businesses, with 79.4% earning less than 100 USD per month.

Conclusion: The high resistance observed in isoniazid, which is a first-line drug, could result in an increase in multidrug resistance unless control programs are strengthened. Poverty should be addressed to reduce infection rates.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Infection in Developing Countries

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

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