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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 1999 Oct;13(2):93-7.

Drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant tubercle bacilli.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Drug resistant (DR) and multidrug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) is a consequence of human activity and did not exist before chemotherapeutic drugs were introduced. Monotherapy with various drugs in sequence or other inadequate drug regimens have strongly contributed to the creation of MDR-TB. Such TB strains are mainly prevalent in regions with weak national TB programmes or poor socio-economic environments. Strains may also spread in some communities such as poorly administered prisons. From these and other sources, MDR-TB may spread in the population from which travellers might transfer strains between countries and continents. Therefore an effective surveillance of the resistance pattern of TB bacilli is a demanding task in all countries. In this review some aspects of epidemiology, diagnosis and mechanisms of DR in TB are discussed. MDR-TB is an important international problem of increasing significance for the whole global community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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