Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB) - A Potential Threat in Ireland

Anne Marie Mc Laughlin1, *, Rory A O’Donnell1, Noel Gibbons2, Mary Scully3, Darina O’Flangan4, Joseph Keane1
1 Department of Respiratory Medicine, CREST Directorate, St James’ Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland
2 Irish Mycobacteria Reference Laboratory St James Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland
3 Department of Public Health Medicine, Population Division, Health Service Executive, Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland
4 Health Protection Surveillance Centre 25-27 Middle Gardiner St Dublin 1, Ireland

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2007 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Respiratory Medicine, CREST Directorate, St James’ Hospi-tal, Dublin 8, Ireland; Tel: 353(1)4162194; Fax: 353(1)4103549; E-mail:


We describe a case of a 25 year old female from Lithuania who presented with a productive cough. Chest radiograph demonstrated an infiltrate in the left upper lobe and a cavitating lesion in the right middle lobe. Sensitivity testing of her sputum led to a diagnosis of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). This is the first case in Ireland and highlights the need for physicians to be aware of the possibility of XDR-TB. Moreover it underlines the need for im-provement in service provision in terms of a TB reference laboratory and TB clinics.