Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

Antibiotic resistance is one of the challenges facing mankind in the 21st century. This includes antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. Just in time for World Tuberculosis Day on 24 March 2024, the scientific journal Nature Reviews Disease Primers published a comprehensive overview of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. In this review, international experts from various medical disciplines shed light on the relevant topics of this complex disease, including epidemiology, transmission, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Current figures show that drug resistance remains a major problem in several parts of the world, particularly in Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In 2022 alone, 10.6 million people contracted tuberculosisaround 410,000 of these were patients with a form of drug-resistant tuberculosis. These patients can often only be treated with a lengthy therapy with increased risk of adverse eventsthe mortality rate is much higher than with drug-susceptible tuberculosis. The emergence of drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis represents a major challenge for the healthcare systems in many countries.

„In recent decades, the treatment of tuberculosis has changed dramatically due to antibiotic resistance of tuberculosis bacteria," says Prof. Christoph Lange, senior author of the article and Head of the DZIF Clinical Tuberculosis Unit (DZIF ClinTB) at the Research Center Borstel Leibniz Lung Center. This includes the field of diagnostics and the field of therapy through the use of new drugs. For researchers and medical professionals who do not come into contact with this disease on a daily basis, it is difficult to gain an overview of all the important aspects. The article closes these gaps and also addresses current WHO guidelines, palliative care issues, approaches to antibiotic stewardship and case-finding strategies in public health.

Source: Press release of the Research Center Borstel Leibniz Lung Center

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