Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Can J Public Health. 2013 Jan 8;104(1):e22-7.

Increase in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Alberta among foreign-born persons: implications for tuberculosis management.

Author information

Tuberculosis Program Evaluation and Research Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.



Globally, the prevalence of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance has been increasing. This study sought to identify trends in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) among foreign-born persons in Alberta, a major immigrant-receiving province of Canada.


A retrospective cohort study design was used to investigate the prevalence of MDR-TB in foreign-born culture-positive TB cases between 1982 and 2011. Relevant demographic, clinical and laboratory data were abstracted from the TB Registry, individual medical records and the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health.


Of the 2,234 foreign-born culture-positive TB cases in Alberta in 1982-2011, 27 (1.2%) had MDR-TB. Overall, MDR was associated with age <65 years (p=0.025), TB relapse/retreatment, and diagnosis and arrival in the last decade (2002-2011). The prevalence of MDR-TB in 2002-2011 was 2.1%, a significant increase from 0.65% in 1982-1991 (p=0.022) and 0.56% in 1992-2001 (p=0.009). Only immigrants from the Philippines and Vietnam showed a significant increase in the prevalence of MDR-TB between the first two decades and the last. Compared to MDR-TB cases reported in the first two decades, those reported in the last decade were more frequently younger than 35 years of age, new active versus relapse/retreatment cases and diagnosed with non-respiratory versus respiratory TB. In 1992-2011, MDR-TB strains had unique DNA fingerprints.


Recent trends in the prevalence and clinical characteristics of foreign-born MDR-TB cases have important implications for TB case management in Canada. Early diagnosis of MDR-TB, using genotypic drug susceptibility testing, is suggested in foreign-born TB cases at increased risk of being MDR.


Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; immigrants

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center