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January 13, 2018 3:33 PM
Cluster of resistant tuberculosis pathogen from African Migrants
Posted by Staff
EurekAlert:

Between February and November 2016, the Institute of Medical Microbiology at the University of Zurich discovered a multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in eight refugees arriving in Europe from the Horn of Africa. The analyses provided an impulse for launching a transnational investigation and developing a pan-European alerting system.

Resistant tuberculosis pathogens are a regular part of the day-to-day business at the Swiss National Center for Mycobacteria (NZM) at the University of Zurich. And yet, the Mycobacterium tuberculosis found in a Somali asylum seeker in the refugee center in Chiasso in February 2016 was extraordinary: "These bacteria exhibited a new combination of resistance mutations against four different antibiotics that had never before been described," says Peter Keller, Head of Diagnostics at NZM, who identified the germ. The multidrug resistance makes it necessary for people carrying these bacteria to be isolated and undergo intravenous drug treatment at a hospital for several months.

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