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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2006 Sep;10(9):954-8.

In the European Union, TB patients from former Soviet countries have a high risk of multidrug resistance.

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EuroTB, Department of Infectious Diseases, Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Saint-Maurice, France.



Fourteen countries of the European Union (EU).


To explore determinants of resistance to isoniazid and rifampicin (multidrug-resistant tuberculosis [MDR-TB]) among tuberculosis (TB) patients in the EU.


Pooled TB case notification data for 2003 from the-Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK were investigated using bivariate and multivariable analysis.


Of 12,109 cases with data, MDR-TB occurred in 709 cases, 91% of whom were from countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU), including the Baltic States. At multivariable analysis, MDR-TB was strongly associated with previous treatment in both Baltic and non-Baltic countries (adjusted OR 9.5 and 6.4, respectively), and inversely related to age >64 years (OR 0.4 and 0.2). In non-Baltic countries, MDR-TB was more strongly related to origin from the FSU (OR 19.7, reference non-Baltic EU) than from other regions (up to OR 2.3). Among cases pooled from all countries, provenance from the FSU was very strongly linked to MDR-TB in both previously untreated (OR 24.9) and previously treated (OR 53.7) cases.


Within a context of increasing mobility, public health workers should be aware of a higher risk for MDR-TB among patients from the FSU as well as among patients previously treated for TB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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