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Int J Mycobacteriol. 2019 Jan-Mar;8(1):22-24. doi: 10.4103/ijmy.ijmy_16_19.

Drug resistance profile of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from patients referred to tuberculosis reference laboratory in Kosovo.

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Department of Microbiology, National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo; Department of Microbiology, University of Prishtina "Hasan Prishtina," Faculty of Medicine, Prishtina, Kosovo.
Department of Microbiology, National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo.



Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) continues to threaten TB control and remains a major global public health concern. The poor patient adherence in TB treatment is the cornerstone of emerging multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). The aim of this study was to evaluate the resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to the first-line TB drugs among isolates from clinical specimens.


A laboratory-based study was conducted in the Department of Microbiology, within the National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo, from January 2017 to September 2018. Sputum and other clinical specimens were obtained from patients with pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB. The specimens were stained with Ziehl-Neelsen, inoculated on Löwenstein-Jensen media for 6-8 weeks, and tested for sensitivity against the first-line TB drugs (isoniazid [INH], rifampicin [RIF], ethambutol [EMB], and streptomycin [SM]).


Of the 316 M. tuberculosis isolates collected, 31.6% showed resistance to first-line TB drugs. Among these resistant isolates, 31% showed resistance to at least one of the first-line TB drugs and 0.3% showed MDR. Resistance to EMB, INH, RIF, and SM was seen in 17%, 8%, 3%, and 72% of isolates, respectively. Polyresistance was seen in 3% of the isolates.


Our study confirms that resistance to streptomycin was the most common phenomenon. The resistance pattern identified in this study could assist clinicians in providing appropriate treatment regimen to TB patients and improve their clinical outcome.


First-line tuberculosis drugs; Kosovo; resistance; tuberculosis

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