This study reported epidemiological data on the prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in Haiti. It focused on the characteristics of drug-resistant strains circulating in Haiti from April 2016 to February 2018 by including adult, microbiologically confirmed pulmonary TB patients. The study presented rich information in order to provide adequate patient case management, prevent the transmission of resistant strains in the community and to contribute to the surveillance of resistant strains, by detecting rifampin-resistant patients in peripheral sites of Haiti. The study highlighted MTB clades harboring multi-drug resistance patterns among the Haitian population as well as a higher risk of MDR-TB infection in HIV-positive people.
The study was carried out as part of the SPHaïtiLab project, part of the European Union program “Supporting Public Health Institutes”. Its main objective was to contribute to improving health in Haiti through analysis and strategic advice on laboratory policy.
While tuberculosis is one of the leading infectious cause of death in the world, Haiti is one of the countries with the highest incidence in the Western hemisphere. In 2018, the country reported an incidence of 176 cases per 100,000 population, of which approximately 15% were cases of TB/HIV coinfection. Moreover, multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a major public health problem as treatment is long, costly, and associated to poor outcomes.