Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases
Online ISSN : 1884-2836
Print ISSN : 1344-6304
ISSN-L : 1344-6304
Epidemiology Communications
Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Outbreak among Immigrants in Tokyo, Japan, 2019–2021
Yumi KobayashiAi TateishiYumi HiroiToki MinakuchiHaruko MukouyamaMasaki OtaYoko NagataSusumu HiraoTakashi YoshiyamaNaoto Keicho
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2022 Volume 75 Issue 5 Pages 527-529


In mid-September 2019, a teenage Chinese male student and part-time waiter in Tokyo was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant (MDR) sputum smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). This study describes the outbreak investigation of his friends and colleagues at the restaurant. We investigated 6 friends and 15 colleagues; 5 friends and 13 colleagues underwent interferon-γ release assay (IGRA). Of these, 3 friends (60.0%) and 4 colleagues (30.8%) were IGRA-positive. Each of the friends and colleagues was found to have MDR-TB (20% and 7.7%, respectively). Challenges during the investigation were the unavailability of regimens for latent TB infection (LTBI) for contacts with MDR-TB, budgetary constraints concerning implementing computed tomography (CT) scans for the contacts, frequent address changes of foreign-born patients and contacts, investigation during the coronavirus disease pandemic, and variations of alphabetical expression of the names of the patients and contacts, particularly for those from China. It is recommended that the national government officially adopt prophylaxis regimens for LTBI with MDR-TB, address the budgetary constraints regarding CT scans, and deploy liaison officers for coordinating investigations involving many foreign-born patients and contacts scattered in multiple municipalities. The names of foreign-born persons could more accurately be identified using both the alphabet and Chinese characters.

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