Can Commun Dis Rep 2018 Nov 1;44(11):290-296. Epub 2018 Nov 1.
Centre for Communicable Disease and Infection Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, ON.
Background: Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is a global public health issue. To monitor this in Canada, surveillance systems have been in place for the last 20 years.
Objective: To describe drug resistance patterns among TB isolates in Canada in 2017 by type of resistance as well as geographic location, demographic data and origin and to compare current data to those of the previous 10 years.
Methods: Data were derived and analyzed from two sources. The Canadian Tuberculosis Laboratory Surveillance System (CTBLSS) is an isolate-based laboratory surveillance system and was used to obtain information on the results of drug susceptibility testing (DST) as well as province or territory, sex and age of the individual from which the sample originated. The Canadian Tuberculosis Reporting System (CTBRS) is a case-based surveillance system with information on active and retreatment TB cases in Canada and was used to derive origin data, which is defined as either foreign-born, Canadian-born Indigenous or Canadian-born non-Indigenous. Analysis was descriptive and compared with data from these two sources for 2007-2016.
Results: In 2017, 1,515 TB isolates were tested for resistance to anti-TB drugs, with 123 (8.1%) demonstrating resistance to any first-line anti-TB drug. Of these, 103 were monoresistant, six were polyresistant and 14 were multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). No extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) isolates were reported. Drug resistance was reported in seven provinces/territories (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick). There were 63 isolates from females with drug resistance (9.5%) and 60 isolates from males with drug resistance (7.0%). Drug resistance was found in a greater percentage of isolates among those aged 25-34 (n=29, 23.6%). By origin, 1,072 (11%) foreign-born TB cases reported between 2005 and 2015 were drug-resistant. Among the Canadian-born non-Indigenous and Canadian-born Indigenous TB cases, 143 (9%) and 54 (2%) were drug-resistant, respectively. Compared with previous years, the number of isolates tested increased slightly (from 1,267 to 1,515); however, there was a decrease in the percentage of isolates with reported drug resistance (from 10.5% in 2007 to 8.1% in 2017).
Conclusion: In 2017, TB drug resistance rates remained low in Canada.
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