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Free Content Study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis drug resistance in the region of Galicia, Spain

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FRAMEWORK: Galicia, a region in north-east Spain with its own government and health system and a population of 2695880.

OBJECTIVE: To study the epidemiology of resistant tuberculosis (TB).

DESIGN: A prospective, descriptive, and observational study of all Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates processed by each of the laboratories in Galicia that perform mycobacterial cultures. The study followed the methodology recommended by the World Health Organization and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and included isolates processed between 1 November 2001 and 1 June 2002.

FINDINGS: Of 400 strains analysed, 360 corresponded to previously untreated cases and 40 to previously treated cases. Of the previously untreated cases, 88.3% contained strains susceptible to isoniazid, rifampicin, streptomycin and ethambutol, while 4.4% were resistant to isoniazid. The rate of susceptibility to the four drugs was 77.5% in the previously treated cases. Multidrug-resistant TB was detected in 1.4% of the previously untreated cases and in 7.5% of the previously treated cases.

CONCLUSION: Although Galicia has a high incidence of TB (49.4 cases per 100000 population in 2001), the resistance levels detected by the study do not currently pose a serious problem for the region.

Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; drug resistance; epidemiology

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, Galicia Microbacteria Reference Laboratory, Santiago University Hospital Complex, Santiago de Compostella, Galicia, Spain 2: Tuberculosis Unit, Department of Preventive Medicine, Santiago University Hospital Complex, Santiago de Compostella, Galicia, Spain 3: Galician Programme for the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis, Directorate General for Public Health Council, Xunta de Galicia, Santiago de Compostella, Galicia, Spain 4: Tuberculosis Unit, Department of Pneumology, Vigo University Hospital Complex, Vigo, Galicia, Spain 5: Tuberculosis Unit, Department of Pneumology, Juan Canalejo University Hospital Complex, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain 6: Tuberculosis Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Pontevedra Hospital Complex, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

Publication date: November 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • 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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