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Predictors of Time to Sputum Culture Conversion Among Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Patients in Oromia Region Hospitals, Ethiopia

Authors Tekalegn Y, Woldeyohannes D, Assefa T, Aman R, Sahiledengle B

Received 22 February 2020

Accepted for publication 17 June 2020

Published 27 July 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2547—2556


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Yohannes Tekalegn,1 Demelash Woldeyohannes,1 Tesfaye Assefa,2 Rameto Aman,1 Biniyam Sahiledengle1

1Department of Public Health, School of Health Sciences, Goba Referral Hospital, Madda Walabu University, Bale Goba, Ethiopia; 2Department of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, Goba Referral Hospital, Madda Walabu University, Bale Goba, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Yohannes Tekalegn Addis Ababa 22847 code 1000, Ethiopia
Tel +251 913578901

Purpose: Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis occurs when the tuberculosis bacteria develop resistance to at least the two most effective first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin. Sputum culture conversion is one of the indicators to monitor patients’ prognosis throughout the treatment. Hence, this study aimed to assess time to culture conversion and its determinants among drug-resistant tuberculosis patients.
Patients and Methods: A total of 228 drug-resistant tuberculosis patients in selected hospitals in Oromia region, Ethiopia, were included in this study. Descriptive statistics like median time to sputum smear and culture conversion were computed. Bivariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to identify the independent predictors of time to culture conversion. The adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to report the strength of association. Statistical significance was declared at p < 0.05.
Results: The median age of the study participants was 28 years with inter-quartile range of (IQR) of 22– 32 years, and 60% of the patients were male. The median time to culture conversion was 61 days (IQR: 34– 92 days). The proportion of sputum culture conversion at 2nd, 4th, and 6th months of treatment initiation was 47%, 82.5%, and 89%, respectively. The final adjusted multivariate Cox proportional hazard model revealed that patients with massive effusion on chest radiographic finding had a 60%-decreased culture conversion time (AHR: 0.4, 95% CI: 0.1– 0.9). Patients with abnormalities without cavitations (AHR: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.2– 0.9) and those with uninterpreted findings (AHR: 0.3 95% CI: 0.1– 0.5) had delayed culture conversion time.
Conclusion: Chest radiographic findings such as massive effusion, abnormalities without cavitations, and uninterpreted findings were found to be predictors of time to sputum culture conversion. Patients with such characteristics have prolonged culture conversion time. Hence, they may need special attention during the treatment.

Keywords: multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, tuberculosis, time to sputum culture conversion, predictors, survival analysis, treatment outcome, Oromia, Ethiopia

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