On 19 March 2018, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published its annual tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring report presenting the key figures and trends and providing an overview of the TB situation in the EU/EEA and the WHO European Region.
In 2016, 58,994 cases of TB were reported in 30 EU/EEA countries (Liechtenstein did not report). While the decreasing notification rates observed in most countries are considered reassuring, annual rates of decline are still insufficient to achieve the WHO target of TB elimination by 2050 in European low-incidence countries. Of all notified TB cases, 70.4% were newly diagnosed and 71.0% were confirmed by culture, smear or nucleic acid amplification test. Thirty-three per cent of all TB cases were of foreign origin, mostly residing in low-incidence countries.
Overall, adult age groups were equally affected by TB. Children under 15 years of age accounted for 4.1% of all TB cases, corresponding to a notification rate of 3.0 per 100,000 population. Higher-incidence countries also had the highest age-specific notification rates in children. Males were over-represented in all EU/EEA member states.
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB was reported for 3.7% of 36,071 cases with drug susceptibility testing (DST) results and continues to be highest (more than 10%) in the three Baltic countries. Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB was reported for 20.1% of 984 MDR TB cases tested for second-line drug susceptibility. The drug resistance for the second line anti-TB drugs has slightly increased compared to recent years.
Data on HIV co-infection remained very incomplete, and the number of countries reporting HIV status was similar to 2015. Of all TB cases with known HIV status, 4.5% were co-infected with the virus.
TB in prisons remains poorly reported. For the 18 EU/EEA countries reporting data, the notification rate amounted to 163.8 per 100,000 inmates, i.e. an incidence ratio of 11.1 compared to the general population in the same countries.
Further related resources can be accessed on the ECDC website.