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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2010, Article ID 938178, 6 pages
Research Article

Low Occurrence of Tuberculosis Drug Resistance among Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients from an Urban Setting, with a Long-Running DOTS Program in Zambia

1Biomedical Sciences Department, Tropical Diseases Research Centre, P.O. Box 71769, Ndola, Zambia
2Mycobacteriology Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Naionalestraat 155, B-2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
3National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program, Ministry of Health, P.O. Box 30205, Lusaka, Zambia
4Ndola District Health Management Team, P.O. Box 70672, Ndola, Zambia
5Tuberculosis Research Section, National Institutes of Health, LCID/NIAID, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
6Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Received 2 December 2009; Revised 27 April 2010; Accepted 18 May 2010

Academic Editor: Nalin Rastogi

Copyright © 2010 Chanda Mulenga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We set out to determine the levels of Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance to first- and second-line TB drugs in an urban population in Zambia. Sputum samples were collected consecutively from all smear-positive, new and previously treated patients, from four diagnostic centres in Ndola between January and July 2006. Drug susceptibility testing was performed using the proportion method against four first- and two second-line TB drugs. Results. Among 156 new cases, any resistance was observed to be 7.7%, monoresistance to isoniazid and rifampicin was 4.5% and 1.3%, respectively. Of 31 retreatment cases, any resistance was observed to be 16.1%, monoresistance to isoniazid and rifampicin was 3.3% for each drug, and one case of resistance to both isoniazid and rifampicin (multidrug resistance) was detected. No resistance to kanamycin or ofloxacin was detected. Conclusion. Although not representative of the country, these results show low levels of drug resistance in a community with a long-standing DOTS experience. Resource constrained countries may reduce TB drug resistance by implementing community-based strategies that enhance treatment completion.