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The clinical and mycobacterial features of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) cases in China are not well described; especially in western provinces with poor tuberculosis control.

Molecular epidemiological analysis helps to characterize the M.Patients were scored according to the revised British Medical Research Council TBM severity grade, as ‘definite’, ‘probable’ or ‘possible’ TBM.All patients were tested for HIV-specific antibodies (Roche Elecsys HIV Combi).Two trained interviewers collected clinical data with the use of a standard questionnaire.Additional clinical information was gathered from reviewing relevant clinical notes.The majority of MDR- tuberculosis cases are located in the Indian subcontinent, the Russian Federation and China, with high caseloads also reported from Southern Africa where many patients are co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

In China, a 2007 national drug-resistance survey showed that among new TB cases, 34.2% were resistant to any first-line tuberculosis drug; among 3037 new and 892 previously treated cases, 5.7% and 25.6%, respectively had MDR tuberculosis.

A combination of spoligo- and MIRU typing is often used for enhanced strain resolution.

The molecular epidemiology and drug resistance profile of M.

tuberculosis strains isolated from TBM patients have not been documented in northwestern China.

Neither has a comparison of the disease phenotype observed in drug resistant and drug susceptible cases, or a detailed description of the mutations associated with particular drug resistance patterns, been performed.

Shaanxi province is the economic and political centre of the northwestern part of China with a population of 36.7 million people.