Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 60(4); 2006 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2006;60(4):404-411.
DOI:    Published online April 1, 2006.
The Current Status of Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis in Korea.
Byoung Ju Kim, In Hee Lee, Duk Hyung Lee, Gill Han Bai, Suk Jun Kong, Sun Hwa Lee, Hae Ran Moon, Kyoung Ryul Lee, Jun Young Lee, Seung Kyu Park
1National Masan Tuberculosis Hospital, Masan, Korea.
2Korean Institute of Tuberculosis, Seoul, Korea.
3National Mokpo Tuberculosis Hospital, Mokpo, Korea.
4NeoDIN Medical Institute, Seoul, Korea.
5Green Cross Reference Laboratory, Seoul, Korea.
6Seoul Clinical Laboratories, Seoul, Korea.
7Seobuk Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is an emerging threat to human beings. However, there is little data on the current status of MDR-TB in Korea. This study investigated the current status of MDR-TB in Korea using a survey of all the data from drug susceptibility tests (DST) performed across the country over the last three years. METHOD: The DST results between Jan. 2000 and Dec. 2002 from 7 laboratories, which were in charge of all antituberculous DSTs across the country as of March 2002, were collected and analyzed to determine the actual number of drug-resistant or MDR-TB patients, annual trend, degree and pattern of resistance against anti-TB drugs, etc. RESULTS: Six laboratories used the absolute concentration method for DST and one used the proportional method. 59, 940 tests had been performed over the 3 year study period. The number of DST performed annually was 18,071, 19,950, and 21,919 in 2000-2002, respectively. The number of resistant tuberculosis patients (resistant against at least one anti-TB drug) had increased by 16.9% from 6,338 in 2000 to 7,409 in 2002. The rate of resistant tuberculosis among all DST results was 35.1% in 2000, 34.5% in 2001, and 33.8% in 2002. The number of MDR-TB patients (resistant against at least both isoniazid and rifampin) showed an increasing trend (14.5%) from 3,708 in 2000 to 4,245 in 2002. CONCLUSION: Approximately 4,000 MDR-TB cases are newly identified by DST annually and the number is showing an increasing trend. This study suggests that in order to cope with the current MDR-TB situation, the DST methods will need to be standardized and more aggressive measures will be required.
Key Words: Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, Drug susceptibility test

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