Drug resistant tuberculosis is also known as the white plague. According to WHO(World Health Organization) 25% of the people with tuberculosis are becoming sick with the kind of tuberculosis bacteria that are immune to the basic tuberculosis drug regimen.
Tuberculosis bacteria becomes resistant to the drugs. The drugs don’t destroy the bacteria. Drug resistant tuberculosis bacteria occurs under various circumstances.
1. When the patient with tuberculosis fails to complete the drug regimen for the prescribed duration, the tuberculosis bacteria recurs again.
2. It can occur due to the wrong drug treatment, or wrong dosage of the drug for the specific kind of tuberculosis bacteria.
3. It can flourish also with the prescription of the medication for the wrong duration of time by the health care providers.
4. Access to the supply of the tuberculosis drug also plays a vital role in combating the drug resistant tuberculosis bacteria.
5. The quality of the anti-tuberculosis drugs play a crucial role regarding the treatment of the drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is immune to two known first-line anti tuberculosis drugs (Isoniazid and Rifampicin). Extensive drug resistant tuberculosis is immune to the second-line drugs also.
Drug resistant tuberculosis is growing steadily in various countries of the world. Drug resistant tuberculosis is becoming a problem in India. Partnership between public and private enterprises is necessary to detect and treat the disease. It will help to reverse the trend also. Two regions of Russia, Orel and Tomsk accomplished a striking reversing trend of drug resistant tuberculosis. Estonia and Latvia became successful with the decline of drug resistant tuberculosis.
World Health Organization started a five year project for helping to improve tuberculosis laboratories for detecting the diseases quickly in thirty countries.
The cost of standard drug regimen can be as little as US $20. Extensive drug resistant tuberculosis treatment can be as expensive as $5000. Funding can make a real difference in developing and poor countries regarding the drug resistant tuberculosis treatment.
Lack of new drugs to deal with the tuberculosis for decades is one of the causes for the increasing trend of drug resistant tuberculosis. Eleven new or modified drugs are going through the clinical trial process for drug resistant tuberculosis. Bayer (pharmaceutical company) is having a partnership with Global Alliance for TB treatment. They are conducting phase III of a clinical trial to test Bayer’s antibiotic moxifloxacin to see whether it will decrease the duration time from six to four months standard regimen for the drug resistant TB.
The Center for Disease Control works with the other federal agencies and international partners to increase awareness about the drug resistant TB. Effective treatment, increased access to quality-driven, lower cost second-line drugs are some of the basic strategies to treat drug resistant TB.
Can the trend in dealing with drug resistant tuberculosis be reversed globally? Some countries showed that it is a possible and worthy endeavor. Time will reveal whether the trend can be continued in every country.