Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in North-West of Iran and Republic of Azerbaijan: A Major Public Health Concern for Iranian People

Jalil Rashedi, Behroz Mahdavi Poor, Abdolnasser Rafi, Mohammad Asgharzadeh, Jalal Abdolalizadeh, Seyyed Reza Moaddab


Background: Republic of Azerbaijan is considered as an area with high prevalence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Uncontrolled travelling of Azerbaijanis people to Iran is the issue that needs to be considered as an important issue.

Methods: This study was conducted on 32 patients with tuberculosis from Baku–Nakhchivan and 48 patients from Iran during 2012 to 2014. Colonies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were examined after isolating them from patients using proportional method on Lowenstein-Jensen media regarding resistance encounter with Rifampin, Isoniazid and Ethambutol.

Results: Among M. tuberculosis isolates belonging to 32 foreign patients; 69%, 72% and 56% of them were resistant to Rifampin, Isoniazid and Ethambutol, respectively (multidrug resistance tuberculosis: MDR-TB: 62.5%). From 48 isolates of Iranian patients; 8%, 4% and 4% were resistant to Rifampin, Isoniazid and Ethambutol, respectively (MDR-TB: 2.1%).

Conclusions: Resistant strains are common in Baku-Nakhchivan’s people. To prevent the transmission of these strains to Iranians, strategies such as; establishing a medical campus in border lines of both countries for clinical examinations and conducting screening tests regarding tuberculosis infection in applicants for entering Iran must be taken in to account.


Drug resistance; Iran; Proportional; Rifampin; tuberculosis

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