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Background: The diagnosis and treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) is a significant challenge for the control of TB in Nigeria.
Aim: The study was carried out to assess the prevalence of rifampicin-resistant TB at the point of initial diagnosis among subjects suspected of TB.
Methods: A retrospective review of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and rifampicin resistance detected by GeneXpert™ analysis between 2015 and 2017 in Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital was carried out.
Results: A total of 6733 samples were received and analyzed in the period under review, 1252 (19%) were positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 5841 (81%) were negative. The prevalence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was 24.56%, 20.11% and 16.86% from 2015 to 2017 respectively. There was a significant decline in the prevalence of MTB from 2015 to 2017 (c2 = 33.59, p = 0.0001). Rifampicin (RIF) resistance was 5.42%, 5.86% and 6.22% respectively from 2015 to 2017; but the trend was not statistically significant (c2 = 0.21; p = 0.6418).
Conclusion: The study showed that despite a decrease in the prevalence of tuberculosis infection there was an increase in rifampicin resistance from 5.42% to 6.22% between 2015 and 2017. There is an urgent need to improve the management of TB in the Port Harcourt metropolis to improve treatment outcomes and to prevent the proliferation of drug resistant strains.