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Free Content Trend of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance in Korea, 1994–2004

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SETTING: The 245 health centres through which the National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) is implemented in Korea and the TB Laboratory Network of the Korean National Tuberculosis Association.

OBJECTIVE: To observe the trend of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance in Korea from 1994 to 2004 and possible related factors.

DESIGN: All tuberculosis (TB) patients registered for treatment at the health centres for a given period were assessed.

RESULTS: Of 2636 new smear-positive patients from the 2004 survey, 338 cases (12.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 11.5–14.1) showed resistance to any of the first-line drugs: 261 with isoniazid (INH) resistance (9.9%, 95%CI 8.8–11.0) and 71 with multidrug resistance (MDR) (2.7%, 95%CI 2.1–3.3). Compared with previous surveys, a statistically significant increase in MDR (P = 0.00675), any drug resistance (P = 0.03779), any INH resistance (P = 0.00313) and any rifampicin resistance (P = 0.00176) has been observed among new cases since 1994. Any resistance to second-line drugs ranged from 0.1% (capreomycin) to 1.1% (para-aminosalicylic acid) among new cases and from 1.1% to 3.6% among retreatment cases. Resistance to kanamycin and ofloxacin was found in 1.4% and 2.6%, respectively, of new and previously treated MDR-TB cases.

CONCLUSION: A statistically significant increase in drug resistance was noticed among new cases.
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Keywords: drug resistance; prevalence; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Korean Institute of Tuberculosis, The Korean National Tuberculosis Association, Seoul, Korea 2: Korean Institute of Tuberculosis, The Korean National Tuberculosis Association, Seoul, Korea; and School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Pusan, Korea 3: Bureau of Health Policy, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul, Korea 4: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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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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