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Free Content Mycobacterium africanum, an emerging disease in high-income countries?

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BACKGROUND: Mycobacterium africanum is a cause of tuberculosis (TB) that has mainly been described in Africa, but immigration and travel patterns have contributed to the spread of the disease to other countries.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed TB cases due to M. africanum during 2000–2010 in seven Spanish hospitals. Selected clinical charts were reviewed using a predefined protocol that included demographical, clinical and microbiological data and outcome.

RESULTS: Although 57 cases were diagnosed, only 36 clinical charts were available for review: 82.8% were men and the mean age was 31.6 years (range 12–81). Forty-four cases were from Africa, 1 from the Philippines, 1 from India, and 4 from Spain, while the country of origin was unknown in 7 cases. The most frequent site of infection was the lung (58.3%). Four cases (6.9%) were resistant to at least one first-line anti-tuberculosis drug.

CONCLUSIONS: Disease due to M. africanum in industrialised countries is mainly associated with immigration from endemic areas, although some cases also occur among native-born populations.

Keywords: Mycobacterium africanum; high-income; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Clinical Microbiology, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de la Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain 2: Hospital Virgen de la Concha, Zamora, Spain 3: Hospital de Don Benito-Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain 4: Servicio de Microbiología y Parasitología, Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Spain 5: Hospital Universitario Vall d'Hebron, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 6: Unidad de Referencia Regional de Micobacterias, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain 7: Hospital Universitario Son Dureta, Palma de Mallorca, Spain 8: Hospital Infanta Cristina de Badajoz, Badajoz, Spain 9: Hospital San Pedro de Alcántara, Cáceres, Spain 10: Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario ‘Lozano Blesa’, Zaragoza, Spain

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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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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