Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis by Strains of Beijing Family, in Patients from Lisbon, Portugal: Preliminary Report

Fernando Maltez, Teresa Martins, Diana Póvoas, João Cabo, Helena Peres, Francisco Antunes, João Perdigão, Isabel Portugal


Introduction: Beijing family strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are associated with multidrug-resistance. Although strains of the Lisboa family are the most common among multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant patients in the region, several studies have reported the presence of the Beijing family. However, the features of patients from whom they were isolated, are not yet known.
Material and Methods: Retrospective study involving 104 multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, from the same number of patients, isolated and genotyped between 1993 and 2015 in Lisbon. We assessed the prevalence of strains of both families and the epidemiologic and clinical features of those infected with Beijing family strains.
Results: Seventy-four strains (71.2%) belonged to the Lisboa family, 25 (24.0%) showed a unique genotypic pattern and five (4.8%) belonged to the Beijing family, the latter identified after 2009. Those infected with Beijing family strains were angolan (n = 1), ukrainian (n = 2) and portuguese (n = 2), mainly young-aged and, four of five immunocompetent and with no past history of tuberculosis. All had multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. We did not find any distinctive clinical or radiological features, neither a predominant resistance pattern. Cure rate was high (four patients).
Discussion: Although the number of infected patients with Beijing strains was small, it suggests an important proportion of primary tuberculosis, a potential for transmission in the community but also a better clinical outcome when compared to other reported strains, such as W-Beijing and Lisboa.
Conclusion: Although Lisboa family strains account for most of the multidrug and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis cases in Lisbon area, Beijing strains are transmitted in the city and might change the local characteristics of the epidemics.


Genetic Variation; Mycobacterium tuberculosis/genetics; Portugal; Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant

Full Text:

PDF (Português) PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.