Drug-Resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is estimated to cause about 10% of all TB related deaths. There is dearth of data on determinants of DR-TB mortality in Nigeria. Death among DR-TB treated cohorts in Nigeria from 2010 to 2013 was 30%, 29%, 15% and 13% respectively. Our objective was to identify factors affecting survival among DR-TB patients in northern Nigeria.


Demographic and clinical data of all DR-TB patients enrolled in Kano, Katsina and Bauchi states of Nigeria between 1st February 2015 and 30th November 2016 was used. Survival analysis was done using Kaplan-Meier and multiple regression with Cox proportional hazard modeling.


Mean time to death during treatment is 19.2 weeks and 3.9 weeks among those awaiting treatment. Death was recorded among 38 of the 147 DR-TB patients assessed. HIV co-infection significantly increased probability of mortality, with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of 2.35, 95% CI: 1.05–5.29, p = 0.038. Treatment delay showed significant negative association with survival (p = 0.000), not starting treatment significantly reduced probability of survival with an aHR of 7.98, 95% CI: 2.83–22.51, p = 0.000. Adjusted hazard ratios for patients started on treatment more than eight weeks after detection or within two to four weeks after detection, was beneficial though not statistically significant with respective p-values of 0.056 and 0.092. The model of care (facility vs. community-based) did not significantly influence survival.


Both HIV co-infected DR-TB patients and DR-TB patients that fail to start treatment immediately after diagnosis are at significant risk of mortality. Our study showed no significant difference in mortality based on models of care. The study highlights the need to address programmatic and operational issues pertaining to treatment delays and strengthening DR-TB/HIV co-management as key strategies to reduce mortality.

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Citation: Bajehson M, Musa BM, Gidado M, Nsa B, Sani U, Habibu AT, et al. (2019) Determinants of mortality among patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis in northern Nigeria. PLoS ONE 14(11): e0225165. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225165

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