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Free Content Surveillance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis drug resistance in France, 1995–1997

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OBJECTIVE: To measure the rate of primary and secondary drug resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis on an ongoing basis.

DESIGN: Data on all culture-positive tuberculosis were collected prospectively from 1995 through 1997 from a microbiological laboratory network of 19 university hospitals throughout France, and submitted quarterly to the National Reference Centre for Surveillance of Mycobacterial Diseases.

RESULTS: A total of 2998 patients were included in the study. Among the 2333 (78%) previously untreated patients, 8.6% had isolates resistant to any drug, 4.8% to streptomycin (SM) alone, 1.2% to isoniazid (INH) alone, 1.8% to SM + INH, and 0.3% to INH + rifampicin (RMP) or multidrug resistance (MDR). Foreign birth was independently associated with a higher risk of primary resistance to any drug (odds ratio [OR] 1.5). Among the 268 (9%) previously treated patients, 20.9% had isolates resistant to any drug, 6.3% to SM alone, 3.4% to INH alone, 4.1% to SM + INH, and 3.7% to INH + RMP. Foreign birth (OR = 2.3), and human immunodeficiency virus positive status (OR = 4.4) were independently associated with a higher risk of secondary resistance to any drug.

CONCLUSION: During the last 30 years there has been no increase in resistance to any drug among previously untreated patients. As expected, secondary resistance was highly associated with foreign birth. MDR-TB remains a rare event in France.
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Keywords: M. tuberculosis; epidemiology; resistance

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: AZAY Mycobacteria Study Group, Angers, France; and Laboratoire de Bactériologie-Virologie, CHU Angers, Angers, France

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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