n South African Medical Journal - A historical review of XDR tuberculosis in the Western Cape province of South Africa : scientific letter




There are limited data on the temporal relationship between the regional introduction of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) treatment and the subsequent development of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). The first XDR-TB case in the Western Cape province of South Africa was recorded in 1992, approximately 5 - 7 years after the regional introduction of MDR-TB-like treatment. Between 1990 and 2002 we identified 48 patients with XDR-TB in the Cape Metropole region of the Western Cape province. Patients were predominantly HIV-uninfected and median survival was 10.8 months. XDR-TB has therefore been present in the Western Cape at least since 1992. These data inform public health policy relevant to the introduction of new anti-TB drug regimens.


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