Sunday, July 1, 2012

TDR or not TDR TB in India

In January this year a strain of TB emerged in India that was incurable and appeared resistant to all antibiotics.
 Scrambling for a name (we already have MDR-TB and XDR-TB for multi-drug resistant and extensively drug resistant TB) the media settled on TDR-TB (totally drug resistant TB)

The Indian government leaped into action and said that the term “totally drug resistant” tuberculosis is “misleading” and has not been endorsed by the World Health Organization. It has classified the cases as extensively drug resistant tuberculosis despite the fact there is good evidence that this strain is more drug resistant than previous  XDR-TB strains.

Arguing about exactly what the strain should be called seems a little like arguing about how on fire your house is. The bottom line is that this is very bad news and the inevitable has happened - in India at least we are back to Sanitoriums.

Wired magazine has covered this story well in their online Superbug blog. eg here: TDR-TB: The Indian Government Denies It and, earlier, here:  India Reports Completely Drug-Resistant TB.

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