Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Australia and our region

James M Trauer and Allen C Cheng
Med J Aust 2016; 204 (7): 251-253. || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00012

MDR-TB threatens TB control programs in Australia’s region and will not diminish without concerted efforts

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s great killers, but Australia has been relatively protected because of its strong public health system. Of 1300 cases reported in Australia each year, almost 90% occur in the overseas born, although Indigenous Australians are also disproportionately affected. Most cases arise in the large immigrant communities from India, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and Nepal, but high rates are also reported from Papua New Guinea (PNG), Ethiopia, Somalia and Myanmar. These cases occur primarily in permanent residents and students, rather than in refugees or those on humanitarian visas.1

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  • James M Trauer1
  • Allen C Cheng1,2

  • 1 Monash University
  • 2 Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC


Allen Cheng is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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