Drug resistance patterns among tuberculosis patients in Rome, 1990-1992

Enrico Girardi, Giorgio Antonucci, Mirella Tronci, Eugenio Bordi, Giuseppe Ippolito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prevalence of, and risk factors for, drug-resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were assessed among 407 hospitalized patients with tuberculosis in Rome, Italy, during the period 1990-1992. Resistance to 1 or more drugs was detected in 106 isolates (26%). Resistance to streptomycin was the most common (18.4%), followed by isoniazid (10.3%) and rifampin (7.9%), 23 isolates (5.7%) were resistant to both isoniazid and rifampin. Resistance to at least 1 drug and resistance to both isoniazid and rifampin were significantly more common among recurrent cases (40.7% vs, 22.1%, p <0.001; and 22.1% vs. 1.2%, p <0.001). Sex, country of origin and HIV infection were not significantly associated with prevalence of drug resistance. Among recurrent cases, prevalence of resistance to at least 1 drug and of resistance to both isoniazid and rifampin, was higher in subjects who had had a previous episode of tuberculosis later than 1969. In the population studied the prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis was high, although the risk of initially becoming infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of M. tuberculosis in this area appears to be low. This study suggests the need for enhanced surveillance of drug-resistance of tuberculosis in our country and for implementation of intervention aimed to ensure adequate and complete therapy for patients with tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-491
Number of pages5
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology


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