Drug Resistant Turbeculosis
Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), is an increasing health threat throughout the world. MDR TB is caused by bacteria that are resistant to the most effective anti-TB drugs (isoniazid and rifampicin) and results from either primary infection or may develop in the course of a patient's treatment. This form of TB does not respond to the standard six month treatment with first-line anti-TB drugs and can take two years or more to treat with drugs that are less potent, more toxic and much more expensive.
WHO Drug resistance surveillance data indicates that in 2013, approximately 480 000 people developed MDR TB worldwide. Among TB patients reported by national TB programmes in 2013, there were an estimated 300 000 cases of MDR-TB. More than half of these cases were in India, China and the Russian Federation.
Estimated number of MDR TB Cases Among Notified TB Patients in 2013
WHO estimates that globally, 5% of TB cases have MDRTB. Among new TB cases, an estimated 3.5% have MDRTB. The proportion is higher among people previously treated for TB, at 20.5%. Levels of drug resistance among new cases are <3% in 108 (75%) of the 144 countries with drug resistance surveillance data. This includes almost all countries in the Region of the Americas, most countries in the African and South-East Asia regions, most countries in western Europe and several countries in the Western Pacific Region.
Eastern European and central Asian countries have the highest levels of MDR-TB, reaching 35% of new cases and 75% of previously treated cases in some settings.
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Interviews with TB experts
Dr. Camilo Roa, Jr. carries a cross appointment of Clinical Professor and Attending Physician in the Department of Medicine of the Philippine General Hospital.