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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2017

Multidrug resistant tuberculosis in Ethiopian settings and its association with previous history of anti-tuberculosis treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis

BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2017
Setegn Eshetie, Mucheye Gizachew, Mulat Dagnew, Gemechu Kumera, Haile Woldie, Fekadu Ambaw, Belay Tessema, Feleke Moges



Efforts to control the global burden of tuberculosis (TB) have been jeopardized by the rapid evolution of multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), which is resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin. Previous studies have documented variable prevalences of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and its risk factors in Ethiopia. Therefore, this meta-analysis is aimed, firstly, to determine the pooled prevalence of MDR-TB among newly diagnosed and previously treated TB cases, and secondly, to measure the association between MDR-TB and a history of previous anti-TB drugs treatment.


PubMed, Embase and Google Scholar databases were searched. Studies that reported a prevalence of MDR-TB among new and previously treated TB patients were selected. Studies or surveys conducted at national or sub-national level, with reported MDR-TB prevalence or sufficient data to calculate prevalence were considered for the analysis. Two authors searched and reviewed the studies for eligibility and extracted the data in pre-defined forms. Forest plots of all prevalence estimates were performed and summary estimates were also calculated using random effects models. Associations between previous TB treatment and MDR-MTB infection were examined through subgroup analyses stratified by new and previously treated patients.


We identified 16 suitable studies and found an overall prevalence of MDR-TB among newly diagnosed and previously treated TB patients to be 2% (95% CI 1% - 2%) and 15% (95% CI 12% - 17%), respectively. The observed difference was statistically significant (P < 0.001) and there was an odds ratio of 8.1 (95% CI 7.5–8.7) for previously treated TB patients to develop a MDR-MTB infection compared to newly diagnosed cases. For the past 10 years (2006 to 2014) the overall MDR-TB prevalence showed a stable time trend.


The burden of MDR-TB remains high in Ethiopian settings, especially in previously treated TB cases. Previous TB treatment was the most powerful predictor for MDR-MTB infection. Strict compliance with anti-TB regimens and improving case detection rate are the necessary steps to tackle the problem in Ethiopia.
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