Time to sputum culture conversion and its associated factors among multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Eastern Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, 2020, 98, pp. 230-236
Issue Date:
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This study aimed to consider the estimated time to multi-resistant tuberculosis culture conversion, and associated factors, in order to enhance evidence utilization in eastern Africa.


We systematically identified available articles on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis culture conversion using PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science core collection, and Science Direct databases. A random-effects model was employed using the R 3.6.1 version and Stata/se 14 software.


Nine articles with a sample size of 2458 multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients were included. The two-month culture conversion rate was 75.4%, with a median time of 61.2 days (interquartile range: 48.6-73.8). In the included studies, favorable treatment outcomes of MDR-TB patients were seen in 75% of the cases, while unfavorable treatment outcomes were seen in 18% (10% deaths, 7% defaulted, and 1% treatment failure) of the cases. The independent factor for delayed sputum culture conversion was body mass index below 18.5kg/m2 (HR=3.1, 95% CI: 2.0, 6.7).


The median time to sputum culture conversion was 61.2 days, which is a reasonably short time. Body mass index was the identified associated factor leading to delayed culture conversion. Therefore, there is a need for awareness of how to improve the nutritional status of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients through appropriate nutritional supports.
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