Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Matthew J. Magee, Ph.D, MPH

Second Advisor

Ike S. Okosun, MS, MPH, Ph.D, FRSPH, FTOS, FACE


Background: Risk factors for acquired multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) are well described but risk factors of primary MDR TB is understudied. We aimed to 1) assess risk factors for primary MDR TB, including diabetes, and 2) determine if diabetes reduced the rate of sputum culture conversion in patients with primary MDR TB.

Methods: From 2011-2014 we conducted a prospective cohort study at the National Center for TB and Lung Disease in Tbilisi, Georgia. Adult (≥35 years) patients with primary TB were eligible. MDR TB was defined as resistance to at least rifampicin and isoniazid. Patients with HbA1c ≥6.5% were defined to have diabetes. Polytomous regression was used to estimate the association of patient characteristics with drug resistance. Cox regression was used to compare the hazard rate of sputum culture conversion in patients with and without diabetes.

Results: Among 318 patients, 268 had drug susceptibility test results. Among patients with DST results, 19.4% was primary MDR TB and 13.4% had diabetes. In adjusted analyses, diabetes (aOR 2.51 95%CI 1.00 – 6.31) and lower socioeconomic status (aOR 3.51 95%CI 1.56 – 8.20) were associated with primary MDR TB. Among patients with primary MDR TB, 44 (84.6%) converted sputum cultures to negative. The hazard rate of sputum culture conversion was lower among patients with diabetes (aHR 0.34 95%CI 0.13 – 0.87) and among smokers (aHR 0.16 95%CI 0.04 – 0.61).

Conclusions: We found diabetes to be associated with an increased risk of primary MDR TB; both diabetes and smoking were associated with a decreased rate of sputum culture conversion.