Drug Resistant TB: 5 Facts You Didn't Know

NDTV Food  |  Updated: March 24, 2017 15:53 IST

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Drug Resistant TB: 5 Facts You Didn't Know
Highlights
  • World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated globally on 24th March
  • Bacteria that cause TB can develop resistance to the antimicrobial drugs
  • A person may be resistant to one or more drugs that are used to cure TB
World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated globally on 24th March. It is an initiative started by the World Health Organisation to create awareness about this highly contagious disease that affects millions every year. Yet, there is a lot more about tuberculosis (TB) that you probably didn't know but should. To begin with, TB is treatable, however, the bacteria that cause TB can develop resistance to the antimicrobial drugs used to cure the disease. This is known as Drug-Resistant TB. A person may be resistant to one or more drugs that are used to cure TB. 

A regular active case of tuberculosis can be treated with a 6-month course of anti-Tb drugs but since the same medication has been used for so many years, the bacteria is developing resistance against these drugs and new forms of the disease are emerging that may make it difficult to treat. It is important to known everything about Drug-Resistant TB in order to get the appropriate treatment. Let's begin by understanding five basic facts about the disease.

1. Drug-resistant TB occurs when the patients follow inadequate treatment or take wrong medication. Primary drug resistant TB may also be transmitted from person to person. 

2. There are two main types of drug resistant TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB. MDR-TB refers to multi-drug resistant TB where the bacteria does not react to the two most effective drugs - isoniazid and rifampicin. In case of XDR-TB or extensively drug resistant TB, the bacteria may be resistant to one of the fluoroquinolones as well as injectable TB drugs in addition to above mentioned ones. 3. Drug resistance can be detected with the help of special laboratory tests that test the bacteria for sensitivity to the drugs or detect resistance patterns.

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(Read Also:New Treatment For Tuberculosis: Anti-Bacterial Compounds in Soil Can Help)
 
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4. There are various ways in which drug-resistant TB can be controlled or prevented such as making sure the TB patient the first time around, providing access to quick diagnosis and ensuring adequate infection control in facilities where patients are treated.


5. The latest report from the BMC's public health department shows that the number of patients suffering from drug-resistant TB (which is obviously more difficult to cure) has increased by 21% between 2015 and 2016 in Mumbai, India. TB is one of the top 10 causes of death around the world and India accounts for the maximum number of sufferers - almost 25% as indicated by Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy's report. 



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