Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
A study was conducted at the Institute of Thoracic Medicine, Chennai to find out the prevalence of multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) among patients undergoing anti tuberculosis treatment for varying periods of time at four tuberculosis centres in Tamil Nadu. All patients were thoroughly interrogated with respect to their history of contact with pulmonary tuberculosis patients, previous anti tuberculosis chemotherapy, reasons for irregularity or default if any. Out of 782 cases studied, 162 were found to be bacteriologically positive. Thirty three (20.3%) of these 162 cases were found to be resistant to both isoniazid and rifampicin and belonged to the dangerous category of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. Ten (30.3%) of these 33 had history of contact with pulmonary tuberculosis patients and 28 (84.8%) had irregular and interrupted treatment. Twenty four (72.7%) of 33 cases of MDR TB reported that they had irregular and interrupted treatment because of the non-availability of drugs in various centres.