Free Content Surveillance of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the state of Gujarat, India

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BACKGROUND: Limited information about the prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) has been reported from India, the country with the world's highest burden of TB. We conducted a representative state-wide survey in the state of Gujarat (2005 population: 56 million).

METHODS: Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from a representative sample of new and previously treated smear-positive pulmonary TB (PTB) cases were subjected to drug susceptibility testing (DST) against first-line drugs at a World Health Organization supranational reference laboratory. Isolates found to have at least both isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RMP) resistance (i.e., multidrug-resistant TB [MDR-TB]) were subjected to second-line DST.

RESULTS: Of 1571 isolates from new patients, 1236 (78.7%) were susceptible to all first-line drugs, 173 (11%) had any INH resistance and MDR-TB was found in 37 (2.4%, 95%CI 1.6–3.1). Of 1047 isolates from previously treated patients, 564 (54%) were susceptible to all first-line drugs, 387 (37%) had any INH resistance and MDR-TB was found in 182 (17.4%, 95%CI 15.0–19.7%). Among 216 MDR-TB isolates, 52 (24%) were ofloxacin (OFX) resistant; seven cases of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) were found, all of whom were previously treated cases.

CONCLUSION: MDR-TB prevalence remains low among new TB patients in Gujarat, but is more common among previously treated patients. Among MDR-TB isolates, the alarmingly high prevalence of OFX resistance may threaten the success of the expanding efforts to treat and control MDR-TB.

Keywords: India; drug resistance; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Tuberculosis Research Centre, Chennai, India 2: Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Medical Services & Medical Education, Government of Gujarat, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat State, India 3: Office of the World Health Organization India, New Delhi, India 4: Tuberculosis Research Centre, Chennai, India; and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Geneva, Switzerland 5: Central TB Division, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi, India

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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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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