Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2012 Mar;31(3):221-4. doi: 10.1590/s1020-49892012000300006.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) among patients with new smear-positive pulmonary TB in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Methods: Sputum samples were cultured from 1 006 patients newly diagnosed with TB in 2008. The core region of the rpoB gene that is associated with resistance to rifampin was sequenced. All isolates with rpoB mutations were sent to the New York State reference laboratory for conventional drug susceptibility testing (DST). All isolates were also tested with the GenoType MTBDRplus line-probe assay.

Results: Mycobacterium tuberculosis was isolated from 906 patients. Twenty-six (2.9%) of the isolates had missense mutations or deletions in rpoB and were resistant to rifampin by DST. All 26 were also resistant to isoniazid and classified as MDR-TB. Forty-six control isolates without rpoB mutations were found to be rifampin sensitive by DST. The GenoType MTBDRplus line-probe assay correctly identified 26 MDR-TB strains. It misclassified one pansusceptible isolate as rifampin resistant.

Conclusions: This study shows an MDR-TB prevalence of 2.9% in newly diagnosed TB patients in Haiti and suggests that rpoB sequencing and hybridization assays are good screening tools for early detection of MDR-TB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / drug effects
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Cities / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases
  • Female
  • Haiti / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Isoniazid / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics
  • Prevalence
  • Rifampin / pharmacology
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • rpoB protein, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases
  • Isoniazid
  • Rifampin