Bloomberg News

One in 12 Lab-Tested U.K. TB Cases Resistant to Drugs

July 04, 2012

Drug resistance occurred in 8.4 percent of tuberculosis cases, or one in 12, that were confirmed in laboratory tests in the U.K. last year, according to statistics released today by the Health Protection Agency.

The number of TB cases that didn’t respond to one of the four main antibiotics used to treat the infection jumped 26 percent to 431 in 2011 from 342 in 2010, the London-based agency said. Total cases of TB rose 6.6 percent to 8,963 in 2011 from 8,410 in 2010, according to HPA. Of these, 5,127 TB cases were confirmed in tests on laboratory cultures.

“The increase in drug-resistant cases remains a concern and a challenge to our efforts to control TB in the U.K.,” Ibrahim Abubakar, head of TB surveillance at the HPA, said in an e-mailed statement. “Failing to complete treatment is one of the key causes of drug resistance.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Gerlin in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at

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