Drug Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacteria Isolated from Humans and Cattle from Selected Sites of Ethiopia


Background: The effectiveness of a standard anti-tuberculosis (TB) treatment regimen correlates with in vitro drug susceptibility pattern of the infecting tubercle bacilli. The results of the drug susceptibility tests help select a proper treatment regimen or modify treatment regimen for a better management of patients and surveillance and timely control of the spread of the drug resistant TB in the community. Treatment of drug resistant TB is costly, and the outcomes, including survivorship, can be poor. As the result, the drug susceptibility test has become more important than ever. Objective: To determine the drug-susceptibility pattern of M. tuberculosis and M. bovis isolated from selected sites of Ethiopia. Methods: The conventional indirect Löwenstein-Jensen (L-J) proportion method was used to detect the drug susceptibility pattern of 29 isolates of M. tuberculosis and 21 isolates of M. bovis to four anti-TB drugs (streptomycin, rifampicin, isoniazid and ethambutol). Results: Resistance was observed only in M. tuberculosis isolates while all isolates of M. bovis were fully susceptible to the four drugs. Thus, the overall resistance of M. tubeculosis isolates to any of the four drugs was 51.7%. As such, any type of drug resistance was most frequent to streptomycin (41.3%) followed by isoniazid (20.6%) while it was minimal to rifampicin (6.8%) and ethambutol (3.4%). Multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB) was not detected in the study. Conclusion: This preliminary study showed high level of resistance in M. tuberculosis isolates warranting appropriate use of anti-TB drugs in those sites from where the isolates were obtained.

Share and Cite:

Tadesse, M. , Ameni, G. and Desta, K. (2014) Drug Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacteria Isolated from Humans and Cattle from Selected Sites of Ethiopia. Journal of Tuberculosis Research, 2, 125-131. doi: 10.4236/jtr.2014.23016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Paramasivan, C.N. (1998) An Overview on Drug Resistant Tuberculosis in India. Indian Journal of Tuberculosis, 45, 73-81.
[2] Rosha, D. and Kataria, V.K. (2001) Impact of Initial Drug Resistance Pattern on the Maintenance Phase of Short Course Chemotherapy with Reference to the Emergence of Multi-Drug Resistance. Indian Journal of Tuberculosis, 48, 205-207.
[3] Surucuoglu, S., Ozkutuk, N., Celik, P., Gazi, H., Dinc, G., Kurutepe, S., Koroglu, G., Havlucu, Y. and Tuncay, G. (2005) Drug-Resistant Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Western Turkey: Prevalence, Clinical Characteristics and Treatment Outcome. Annals of Saudi Medicine, 25, 313-318.
[4] Amor, Y.B., Nemser, B., Singh, A., Sankin, A. and Schluger, N. (2008) Underreported Threat of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Africa. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 14, 1345-1352.
[5] Mitike, G., Kebede, D. and Yeneneh, H. (1997) Prevalence of Anti-Tuberculosis Drug Resistance in Harar Tuberculosis Centre, Ethiopia. East African Medical Journal, 74, 158-161.
[6] Gebeyehu, M., Lemma, E. and Eyob, G. (2001) Prevalence of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis in Arsi Zone, Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 15, 11-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ejhd.v15i1.9891
[7] Desta, K., Asrat, D., Lemma, E., Gebeyehu, M. and Bekele, B. (2008) Drug Susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates form Smear Negative Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients, Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 22, 212-215.
[8] García, J.M.G. (2006) Meat as a Vector of Transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis to Humans in Spain: A Historical Perspective. Veterinary Heritage, 29, 25-27.
[9] Signorini, L., Matteelli, A. and Bombana, E. (1998) Tuberculosis Due to Drug-Resistant Mycobaterium bovis in Pregnancy. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2, 342-343.
[10] Cosivi, O., Grange, J.M., Daborn, C.J., Raviglione, M.C., Fujikura, T., Cousins, D., Robinson, R.A., Huchzermeyer, H.F., de Kantor, I. and Meslin, F.X. (1998) Zoonotic Tuberculosis Due to Mycobacterium bovis in Developing Countries. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 4, 59-70.
[11] Shitaye, J.E., Tsegaye, W. and Pavlik, I. (2007) Bovine Tuberculosis Infection in Animal and Human Populations in Ethiopia: A Review. Veterinarni Medicina, 52, 317-332.
[12] Ameni, G. and Erkihun, A. (2007) Bovine Tuberculosis on Small-Scale Dairy Farms in Adama Town, Central Ethiopia, and Farmer Awareness of the Disease. Revue Scientifique et Technique de L’Office International des Epizooties, 26, 711-719.
[13] Yimenu, D. and Demissie, A. (2008) The Role of Bovine Tuberculosis as Zoonotic Disease in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 22, 97-147.
[14] Berg, S., Firdessa, R., Habtamu, M., Gadisa, E., Mengistu, A., Yamuah, L., Ameni, G., Vordermeier, M., Robertson, B.D., Smith, N.H., Engers, E., Young, D., Hewinson, R.G., Aseffa, A. and Gordon, S.V. (2009) The Burden of Mycobacterial Disease in Ethiopian Cattle: Implications for Public Health. PLoS ONE, 4, 5068.
[15] Ameni, G., Desta, F. and Firdessa, R. (2010) Molecular Typing of Mycobacterium bovis Isolated from Tuberculosis Lesions of Cattle in Northeastern Ethiopia. Veternary Record, 167, 138-141.
[16] Cobo, J., Asensio, A. and Moreno, S. (2001) Risk Factors for Nosocomial Transmission of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Due to Mycobacterium bovis among HIV-Infected Patients. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 5, 413-418.
[17] Long, R., Nobert, E., Chomyc, S., van Embden, J., Mcnamee, C., Duran, R.R., Talbot, J. and Fanning, A. (1999) Transcontinental Spread of Multidrug-Resistant Mycobacterium bovis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 159, 2014-2017.
[18] Guerrero, A., Cobo, J., Fortün, J., Navas, E., Quereda, C., Asensio, A., Cañón, J., Blazquez, J. and Gómez-Mampaso, E. (1997) Nosocomial Transmission of Mycobacterium bovis Resistant to 11 Drugs in People with Advanced HIV-1 Infection. The Lancet, 350, 1738-1742.
[19] Poojary, A., Nataraj, G., Metha, P. and Baveja, S. (2006) Rapid Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Its Utility in Resource Poor Settings. Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology, 24, 268-272. http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0255-0857.29385
[20] Parreiras, P.M., Lobato, F.C.F., Alencar, A.P., de Figueiredo, T., Gomes, H.M., Boéchat, N., Lage, A.P., Assis, R.A., Pereira, M.A., Souza, P.R., Mota, P.M. and Suffys, P.N. (2004) Drug Susceptibility of Brazilian Strains of Mycobacterium bovis Using Traditional and Molecular Techniques. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 99, 749-752. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762004000700015
[21] Wolde Meskel, D., Abate, G., Lakew, M., Goshu, S., Selassie, A., Miorner, H. and Assefa, A. (2005) Evaluation of a Direct Colorimetric Assay for Rapid Detection of Rifampicin Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 19, 51-54.
[22] Shen, X., Shen, G., Wu, J., Gui, X., Li, X., Mei, J., DeRiemer, K. and Gao, Q. (2007) Association between embB Codon 306 Mutations and Drug Resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 51, 2618-2620. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.01516-06
[23] Guo, J., Xiang, W., Zhao, Q., Yang, Z. and Sun, Q. (2008) Molecular Characterization of Drug-Resistant M. tuberculosis Isolates from Sichuan Province in China. Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases, 61, 264-268.
[24] Khanum, T., Hayat, A., Rasool, A., Hafiz, S., Azmat, R. and Talat, R. (2005) Mycobacterium Group: Identification and Sensitivities of Clinical Isolates Against First Line Drugs. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 8, 1794-1797. http://dx.doi.org/10.3923/pjbs.2005.1794.1797
[25] World Health Organization (2004) TB/HIV: A Clinical Manual. 2nd Edition, WHO/HTM/TB/2004.329, WHO, Geneva.
[26] Canetti, G., Fox, W., Khomenko, A., Mahler, H.T., Menon, N.K., Mitchison, D.A., Rist, N. and Smelev, N.A. (1969) Advances in Techniques of Testing Mycobacterial Drug Sensitivity and Use of Sensitivity Tests in Tuberculosis Control Programmes. Bulletin of World Health Organization, 41, 21-43.
[27] World Health Organization (2003) Guidelines for Surveillance of Drug Resistance in Tuberculosis. 2nd Edition, WHO, Geneva.
[28] Rahman, M., Kamal, S.M.M., Mohammed, F.R., Alam, B. and Ahasan, H. (2009) Anti-Tuberculosis Drug Resistance Pattern among Different Category of Tuberculosis Patients. Journal of Medicine, 10, 45-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.3329/jom.v10i2.2812
[29] Amukoye, E. (2008) Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis: A Challenge in the Management of Tuberculosis. African Journal of Health Sciences, 15, 6-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ajhs.v15i1.30873
[30] The Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) (2008) Tuberculosis, Leprosy and TB/HIV Prevention and Control Programme Manual. 4th Edition, The Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health.
[31] Bruchfeld, J., Aderaye, G., Palme, I.B., Bjorvatn, B., Ghebremichael, S., Hoffner, S. and Lindquist, L. (2002) Molecular Epidemiology and Drug Resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates from Ethiopian Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients with and without Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 40, 1636- 1643. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.40.5.1636-1643.2002
[32] Kibiki, G.S., Mulder, B., Dolmans, W.M.V., de Beer, J.L., Boeree, M., Sam, N., van Soolingen, D., Sola, C. and van der Zanden, A.G.M. (2007) M. tuberculosis Genotypic Diversity and Drug Susceptibility Pattern in HIV-Infected and Non-HIV-Infected Patients in Northern Tanzania. BMC Microbiology, 7, 1471-2180. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2180-7-51
[33] Somoskovi, A., Parsons, L.M. and Salfinger, M. (2001) The Molecular Basis of Resistance to Isoniazid, Rifampin, and Pyrazinamide in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Respiratory Research, 2, 164-168.
[34] Johnson, R., Jordan, A.M., Warren, R., Bosman, M., Young, D., Nagy, J.N., Wain, J.R., van Helden, P.D. and Victor, T.C. (2008) Drug Susceptibility Testing Using Molecular Techniques Can Enhance Tuberculosis Diagnosis. Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 2, 40-45.
[35] Abate, G. (2002) Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Ethiopia: Problem Scenarios and Recommendation. Ethiopian Medical Journal, 40, 79-86.
[36] Ameni, G., Aseffa, A., Engers, H., Young, D., Gordon, S., Hewinson, G. and Vordermeier, M. (2007) High Prevalence and Increased Severity of Pathology of Bovine Tuberculosis in Holsteins Compared to Zebu Breeds under Field Cattle Husbandry in Central Ethiopia. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, 14, 1356-1361. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00205-07

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.