Monday, January 23, 2012

Totally drug resistant TB


One of the biggest problems in Tuberculosis (TB) therapy nowadays is that patients have to take antibiotics for up to 9 months. As many patients feel better before this time, they prematurely stop their treatment, leaving pools of the most drug-resistant M. tuberculosis in their lungs. This contributes to the emergence of complete drug resistance in future patients.
In the past few years, strains of drug resistant Mtb have become prevalent. In fact, resistance is so wide spread that it is now being classified as multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB) and extreme-drug resistant (XDR-TB). Two of the world’s most populous countries, India and China, account for more than 50% of the world’s MDR-TB cases.
Recent reports have also confirmed a new strain of existing Mtb which is completely untreatable and has been designated as Totally drug resistance TB (TDR-TB). Indeed, strains of Mtb have even evolved resistance to all major available anti-TB drugs. India (2012) is the third country in which a total drug-resistant form of the TB has emerged, following cases documented in Italy in 2007 and Iran in 2009. There is a need for a more readily available treatment that is effective against both sensitive and drug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis is evident.

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