Setting: Three years after the last survey of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Poland, a nationwide survey was conducted by the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory in cooperation with all TB laboratories.
Objective: To determine the prevalence and patterns of primary and acquired drug resistance among Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates recovered from tuberculosis patients in Poland in 2000 and to compare the results with an earlier survey carried out in 1997.
Design: In a prospective survey based on the questionnaires and strains of M. tuberculosis from all 16 regional centres participating in the study, 3705 questionnaires and cultures were obtained from 3037 new and 668 previously treated patients excreting TB bacilli during the 12-month period of 2000. Tests of resistance to isoniazid, rifampicin, streptomycin and ethambutol were performed using Löwenstein-Jensen and the Bactec system.
Results and conclusion: Compared with the previous survey in 1997, the current survey showed a twofold increase in tuberculosis resistance in new cases: any resistance was 3.6% in 1997 vs. 6.1% in 2000 (P < 0.001), multidrug resistance was 0.6% vs. 1.2% (P < 0.01), and no cases of four-drug resistance in 1997 vs. 15 cases in 2000. No statistical differences were observed in the rate of acquired resistance in both surveys.