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Indian J Med Res. 2011 Mar;133:312-5.

Prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis among category II pulmonary tuberculosis patients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. sksharma@aiims.ac.in



Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has emerged as a significant global health concern. The most important risk factor for the development of MDR-TB is previous anti-tuberculosis therapy. Category II pulmonary TB includes those patients who had failed previous TB treatment, relapsed after treatment, or defaulted during previous treatment. We carried out this study to ascertain the prevalence of MDR-TB among category II pulmonary TB patients.


This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study involving category II pulmonary TB patients diagnosed between 2005 and 2008. All sputum-positive category II TB cases were subjected to mycobacterial culture and drug-susceptibility testing (DST). MDR-TB was defined as TB caused by bacilli showing resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampicin.


A total of 196 cases of sputum-positive category II pulmonary tuberculosis patients were included. Of these, 40 patients (20.4%) had MDR-TB. The mean age of MDR-TB patients was 33.25 ± 12.04 yr; 9 patients (22.5%) were female. Thirty six patients showed resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid; while 4 patients showed resistance to rifampicin, isoniazid and streptomycin. The prevalence of MDR-TB among category-II pulmonary tuberculosis patients was 20.4 per cent.


The prevalence of MDR-TB in category II TB patients was significant. However, nation-wide and State-wide representative data on prevalence of MDR-TB are lacking. We stress the importance of continuous monitoring of drug resistance trends, in order to assess the efficacy of current interventions and their impact on the TB epidemic.

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