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Free Content Drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from tuberculosis patients in Kerala, India

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OBJECTIVE: To analyse the extent of drug resistance in clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from patients attending various tuberculosis (TB) clinics in Kerala, India.

DESIGN: Mycobacteria were isolated from sputum samples of TB patients. Isolates from 92 new and 104 retreatment cases were tested for resistance to four first-line drugs (isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol and streptomycin).

RESULTS: Twenty-three per cent of the isolates from new cases and 14% from retreatment cases were pan-susceptible, and the rest were resistant to at least one of the drugs. Multidrug-resistant isolates accounted for 5.4% among new cases and 16.4% among retreatment cases. It should be noted that 18.5% of the isolates were mycobacteria other than tuberculosis.

CONCLUSION: There is an urgent need for statewide surveys to assess the level of drug resistance using quality-assured culture and drug susceptibility services. Considering that the Revised National TB Control Programme in India has been made operational nationwide, this kind of screening should be made mandatory under the programme to effectively control the spread of TB.

Keywords: Alamar Blue; India; Kerala; MOTT; multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Department of Molecular Microbiology, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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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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