Outbreak of multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis in Lisbon: detection by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis
SETTING: Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) mainly among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive patients in Lisbon hospitals in 1996–1997.
OBJECTIVE: Detection of transmission of MDR-TB strains and epidemic outbreaks in several hospital units in the city of Lisbon, including a prison hospital.
DESIGN: Use of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) to fingerprint isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to isoniazid, rifampicin, and one other drug.
RESULTS: A total of 43 MDR-TB strains were typed. Sixty-seven per cent of the patients were HIV positive, 12% were HIV negative, and the remainder had unknown HIV status. About 88% of the isolates were grouped in three genetically similar clusters, suggesting possible recent transmission. A predominant cluster (cluster A), corresponding to 72% of the cases, was found, 45% of which came from the prison hospital. Strains from this cluster were resistant to isoniazid, rifampicin, streptomycin, and sometimes ethambutol. A retrospective epidemiological investigation was conducted with respect to all patients in cluster A, and epidemiological links were established between them.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest recent transmission of MDR-TB, mainly in HIV-positive patients, in Lisbon hospitals. Moreover, the predominant MDR-TB clustered strains were not confined to HIV-infected individuals, as they were also isolated in some immunocompetent patients.
multi-drug resistance (MDR);
Document Type: Regular Paper
Departamento de Microbiologia, Faculdade de Farmácia de Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Unidade de Sistemas de Saúde, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal; and Centro de Malária e Doenças Tropicais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Centro de Malária e Doenças Tropicais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal; and Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Centro de Malária e Doenças Tropicais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Publication date: March 1, 1999
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