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Free Content Molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in Poland: a 1-year study

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OBJECTIVE: To characterise drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated in Poland and to estimate the amount of recent transmission in the population.

DESIGN: M. tuberculosis strains isolated from 251 patients with resistant pulmonary tuberculosis in Poland in 2000 were analysed by spoligotyping and IS6110 DNA fingerprinting. Part of the strains was also characterised by sequencing of the rpoB, katG and/or the regulatory region of the inhA gene.

RESULTS: Using combined spoligotyping/IS6110-RFLP defined clusters, 29% of the strains were clustered, suggesting possible recent transmission. In some cases, transmission links among strains in clusters could be confirmed by epidemiological data and in addition, for most of the strains, by analysis of the mutations associated with resistance to rifampicin and/or isoniazid. Younger age, sex, immigration and history of previous treatment were not associated with clustering, whereas multidrug-resistant disease was more likely to cluster. Strains of the Beijing family could also be found in Poland, although with a much lower frequency than in the neighbouring countries.

CONCLUSION: Transmission of drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains was demonstrated, which might contribute to the emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Poland.

Keywords: M. tuberculosis; Poland; RFLP typing; drug resistance; spoligotyping

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Genetics of Microorganisms, University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland 2: Center for Medical Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Łódź, Poland 3: Unité de la Tuberculose et des Mycobactéries, Institut Pasteur, Pointe-à-Pitre Cedex, Guadeloupe 4: Department of Microbiology, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Warsaw, Poland 5: Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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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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