Tuberculosis on the rise in Denmark

The number of cases of tuberculosis is increasing in Denmark, mostly the as result of the C2/1112-15 strain, and is the most comprehensive chain of infection in the country.

The trend is worrisome given that Denmark typically has a low rate of TB compared to other countries. In 2011, Denmark had one of the lowest rates of TB with an estimated 6.5 cases per 100,000 population. The TB incidence among Greenlanders in Denmark is much higher, at 463 cases per 100,000 population.

More than 700 cases of C2/1112-15 TB cases were detected since 1992. Between 1992 and 2002, most of the cases were Danish, but since that time, there has been a major increase in cases among Greenlanders living in Denmark.

Health officials in Denmark confirmed 271 cases of TB out of 380 notified cases in 2011. Of the 257 cases that were notified with TB for the first time, isoniazid mono-resistance was detected in nine patients, including two Danes and seven immigrants. There was a single case of poly-resistance to isoniazid and ethionamide in a female from Vietnam and there were two cases of multi-drug resistant TB.

MDR-TB is defined as resistance to the two main TB antibiotics and to any additional antibiotics.