Thursday, September 21, 2006

Extreme drug resistant TB

Wednesday 13th's Guardian carries a report of extreme drug resistant TB (XDR-TB) in South Africa. They report what happened at a hospital in Tugela Ferry in Zulu kingdom. When antiviral drugs eventually became available, doctors noticed a great improvement, but there was a group of patients whose immune systems responded well, but who did not get any better. XDR-TB is resistant to every first line drug.

The article discusses concerns over what will happen if the disease spreads, and about what the government is doing about it. Apparently the national health minister did not attend a meeting last week of WHO, CDC and South African experts to discuss what to do about XDR-TB.

Dr. Alan Cann also discusses XDR-TB on his blog

See also:

Nature for 14 September
Lancet for 16-22 September
Science for 15 September

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