Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that caused 9.2 million new cases and 1.7 million deaths in the world in 2006 (1). Over one-third of the world population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative organism of TB. In the Netherlands, TB was the leading cause of death in the first decades of the last century, but improved socioeconomic circumstances, infection-control measures and the introduction of effective chemotherapy have reduced TB to a relatively uncommon disease. TB mortality rates in the Netherlands declined a thousand fold in one century and incidence was the lowest ever recorded in 2006 (2). Prospects are yet less good in other parts of the world. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic multiplied the TB caseload in many sub-Saharan countries and drug resistance is on the increase in several countries with high rates of multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains. Recently, extensively drug-resistance (XDR) was described and XDR-TB is an emerging public health probem in a number of countries (3).

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Dutch Association of Tuberculosis Control Physicians, Dr. C. de Langen Foundation for Global Tuberculosis Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam) of the Erasmus University, Municipal Public HealthService Rotterdam-Rijnmond.
J.D.F. Habbema (Dik)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Vries, G. (2009, February 27). DNA Fingerprinting for Tuberculosis Control in a Metropolitan Area. Retrieved from