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We characterized a set of 100 Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex clinical isolates from tuberculosis (TB) patients in Albania, typing them with a 24-locus variable-number tandem-repeat-spoligotyping scheme. Depending on the cluster definition, 43 to 49 patients were distributed into 15 to 16 clusters which were likely to be epidemiologically linked,(More)
SETTING Quality assurance for the World Health Organization (WHO)/International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) global tuberculosis (TB) drug resistance surveillance programme. OBJECTIVE To monitor the quality of drug susceptibility testing (DST) in different countries. METHODS In 2002-2003 and 2005-2006, 20 Mycobacterium(More)
This study shows that the addition of a consensus 4-locus set of hypervariable mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) loci to the spoligotyping-24-locus MIRU-VNTR typing strategy is a well-standardized approach that can contribute to an improvement of the true cluster definition while retaining high typeability(More)
SETTING Albania, population 3.4 million. OBJECTIVE To describe DOTS (directly observed treatment-short course chemotherapy) implementation, treatment outcomes and epidemiological situation in Albania from 2001 to 2008. DESIGN DOTS strategy was introduced in 2001 and gradually expanded. A retrospective analysis of treatment outcomes and epidemiological(More)
The aims of the present study were to implement a microbead-based 'spoligotyping' technique and to evaluate improvements by the addition of a panel of 25 extra spacers that we expected to provide an increased resolution on principal genetic group 1 (PGG 1) strains. We confirmed the high sensitivity and reproducibility of the classical technique using the 43(More)
Introduction / objectives The attenuated bacilli Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is administered in Albania to all newborns at the first day of life to prevent tuberculosis. Although complications are rare after BCG vaccination and the outcome is usually favourable, serious BCG infections can occur. The risks associated with BCG vaccination include local(More)
Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) represent a significant threat and a global problem when it comes to the detection and treatment of infections [1]. Since their first discovery in 1996 in the United States, CPEs harbouring one of the Ambler class A enzymes, the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC), have been detected in many geographic(More)
Outcome measures are the first step in determining the consequences of health care. These include mortality, morbidity, and quality of life. As major burns are life-threatening conditions, the main priority in discussing outcome measures is mortality as a problem-specific measure. A number of studies have shown that mortality is predominantly determined by(More)
BACKGROUND Maintaining the quality of clinical specimens for tuberculosis (TB) testing is a major challenge in many high TB burden-limited resources countries. Sample referral systems in low and middle income countries are often weak and the maintenance of the cold-chain challenging and very costly for TB programs. The development of transport media(More)
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