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Free Content Resistance patterns of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Western Province, Papua New Guinea [Notes from the field]

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Few data are available on tuberculosis (TB) drug resistance patterns in Papua New Guinea (PNG) due to the lack of facilities for mycobacterial culture. Many patients from the Western Province seek care in Queensland health clinics in the Torres Strait. Since 2000, we have treated 161 TB cases from PNG, of whom 40 proved to have multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB; two human immunodeficiency virus positive). Drug susceptibility testing (DST) shows high levels of resistance to other drugs in the MDR-TB cases (streptomycin 93%, ethionamide 87%, ethambutol 18%, pyrazinamide 10%). No extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) has been identified. MDR-TB seems to be highly prevalent in the Western Province of PNG, and unless treatment is guided by DST, the risk of XDR-TB emerging is high.
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Keywords: MDR-TB; drug resistance; tuberculosis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Regional Tuberculosis Control Unit, Cairns Base Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia 2: Queensland Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory, Pathology Queensland, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Queensland, Australia 3: Queensland TB Control Centre, Specialised Health Services, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Publication date: 01 April 2011

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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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