Tuberculosis in New Zealand: Annual Report 2019

Tuesday 21st March 2023


This report describes the epidemiology of tuberculosis in New Zealand for 2019 as well as trends during the previous 5–10 years.

Tuberculosis disease (TB) is a notifiable condition in New Zealand. The TB notification rate has been relatively stable since 2007, ranging from 6.2 to 7.0 per 100,000 each year. The 2019 TB notification rate was 6.4 per 100,000 population (317 cases). The majority of TB notifications were for new disease, with relapse/reactivation cases making up a small number of notifications. A high proportion of TB cases (92.7%) were laboratory confirmed. One TB outbreak was reported in 2019, involving nine cases.

The highest notification rates in 2019 were recorded for Counties Manukau, Auckland and Waikato DHBs.

Between 2015 and 2019, there was a similar pattern in the demography among new TB cases. Rates were higher in males than females, especially those aged 15–39 years. Over the past five years, the Asian ethnic group has consistently experienced the highest notification rates.

As in previous years, higher rates of TB occurred in socioeconomically deprived areas. Not being born in New Zealand and living with a person not born in New Zealand have consistently been dominant risk factors.

Seven (2.6%) of the culture-positive TB cases reported in 2019 were multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB, defined as resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampicin). All seven MDR-TB cases were born overseas. Resistance to isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol and streptomycin was higher among isolates from cases born overseas than among isolates from New Zealand-born cases, but only isoniazid (p=0.03) resistance was significantly higher.

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Tuberculosis in New Zealand: Annual Report 2019



Tuberculosis in New Zealand: Annual Report 2019

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