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New England Journal Of Medicine 2001;344:1294-1303
Global trends in resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugsResearchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) expanded a WHO-IUATLD global survey to assess trends in resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs by surveying patients in 58 geographic sites between 1996 and 1999. They found that among patients with newly diagnosed tuberculosis (TB), the frequency of resistance to at least one anti-TB drug ranged from 1.7 per cent in Uruguay to 36.9 per cent in Estonia. The prevalence of multi-drug resistance among new cases ranged from 0 per cent in 8 sites to 14.1 per cent in Estonia. It was also high in Henan Province, China (10.8%), Latvia (9.0%), the Russian oblasts of Ivanovo (9.0%) and Tomsk (6.5%), and Iran (5.0%). Among countries that had data available for at least 2 years, the prevalence of resistance to any drug among new cases significantly increased in Estonia, Denmark, Peru, New Zealand, and Germany. Significant decreases were observed in Spain, Switzerland, France, and the United States. The authors state that multi-drug-resistant TB continues to be a serious problem in countries of Eastern Europe as well as China and Iran, and is likely a result of inadequate TB control strategies.
Editorial comment:Australia continues to have very low rates of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs (National TB Advisory Committee. Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 1998. Commun Dis Intell 2001;25:1-8.)
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 25, No 2, April 2001.