Setting: Tertiary referral centre, private hospital, Mumbai, India.
Objective: To analyse the incidence of fluoroquinolone (FQ) resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) in our laboratory from 1995 to 2004.
Design: Retrospective review and analysis of the drug susceptibility test records of all M. tuberculosis culture-positive samples from our Microbiology Department from 1995 to 2004.
Results: FQ resistance has increased exponentially in our laboratory, from 3% in 1996 to 35% in 2004. The incidence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis has also increased during the same period, from 33% in 1995 to 56% in 2004.
Conclusion: The incidence of FQ-resistant M. tuberculosis is gradually increasing to alarming levels. This may be due to widespread use of this vital group of drugs in the treatment of community-acquired infections. We urge that these broad spectrum antibiotics be used judiciously, and ideally be reserved for treatment of resistant TB in TB-endemic areas.