Drug Resistance

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November 2014 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization The November 2014 WHO Bulletin includes news and research articles on various topics, as well as editorials on climate change and health, and health in ASEAN nations (November 2014).

U.S. Begins To Focus Attention On Antibiotic Resistance

Washington Post: The challenge of fighting antibiotic-resistant superbugs Editorial Board “When some of the best science minds in the United States say a problem has become ‘dire,’ requires ‘urgent attention,’ is growing at an ‘alarming rate,’ and has become ‘a crisis’ that threatens medicine, economic growth, public health, agriculture, and…

Poor Diagnosis Aids In Spread Of Drug Resistant TB

Reuters: Poor diagnosis driving global multidrug-resistant TB, WHO warns “… Latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which says drug-resistant TB is a ‘global health security risk’, showed a third of the estimated 9 million people who contract TB in any form each year do not get the care…

Global Misuse Of Antibiotics Leads To Drug Resistance

GlobalPost: Across the globe, getting antibiotics is barely harder than buying Pepsi “…[T]he more [antibiotics] are used — and the more they are misused, for the wrong ailments or without completing an entire course — the less effective they become. Humanity is fast approaching a ‘post-antibiotic era,’ according to the…

Older Antibiotic Shows Success In Treating Drug-Resistant TB In Small Study

“An antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections showed promise at treating a highly drug-resistant and deadly form of tuberculosis [TB],” according to a study conducted by U.S. government and South Korean researchers and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, Reuters reports (Steenhuysen, 10/17). The “small study offers a bit of cautious optimism about the prospects for treatment of tuberculosis, … showing that adding a 12-year-old antibiotic called linezolid, brand name Zyvox, to existing treatments cured nearly 90 percent of patients with a form of tuberculosis resistant to both first- and second-line antibiotics,” NPR’s “Shots” blog writes (Knox, 10/18). “However, most of the patients [in the study] — 82 percent — experienced side effects while on the treatment, which tempered the findings, the team reported,” Reuters notes. “Researchers are desperately looking for new treatments for drug-resistant forms of TB, which threatens to derail progress in the global fight to eradicate the disease,” according to the news agency (10/17).

Washington Post Examines India's Efforts Against TB Amid Fears Of Drug Resistance

The Washington Post examines how the “discovery of an almost untreatable form of tuberculosis [TB] in India has set off alarm bells around the world and helped spur a dramatic expansion of government efforts to battle the killer lung disease.” The newspaper writes, “For the past decade, a nationwide tuberculosis program involving millions of health workers and volunteers has made slow but significant progress in battling the disease in India and has been hailed as a public health success story,” but “any sense of complacency was dispelled in December when a doctor in Mumbai, Zarir Udwadia, discovered a strain of the disease that did not respond to any of the 12 frontline drugs.”

Wall Street Journal Examines Drug-Resistant TB

The Wall Street Journal examines global efforts to stop the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) strains, stating, “Global health officials view the emergence of incurable cases of tuberculosis in India as a worrisome evolution in a trend they have been concerned and intensely frustrated about for years — the rise of drug resistant forms of tuberculosis around the world.” The newspaper notes that “last year, a Mumbai doctor reported several cases of TB resistant to the 12 most commonly used medicines,” and adds that “[a]s many as 4.8 percent of all tuberculosis cases are resistant to at least some available drugs, according to a recent study.” The newspaper discusses WHO guidelines to prevent the spread of TB and writes, “Lucica Ditiu, executive secretary of the Geneva-based Stop TB Partnership, an advocacy organization whose members include the World Health Organization, the CDC and others, says only localized action by the countries themselves will bring rates of drug-resistant TB down” (Shah/Anand/McKay, 9/7).

Indian, WHO Officials To Meet To Discuss Managing Cases Of Highly Drug-Resistant TB

Health officials from India and the WHO are scheduled to meet in Mumbai on Tuesday to discuss how to manage the cases of at least 12 patients infected with a highly drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) strain, Bloomberg reports (Narayan, 1/17). “The ‘totally drug-resistant’ tuberculosis (TDR-TB) reportedly emerging in India is actually an advanced stage of drug-resistant TB, which researchers called totally drug-resistant for lack of a better term,” IRIN notes (1/17).

Blog Interviews UCLA Professor About Highly Drug-Resistant TB

The Los Angeles Times’ “Booster Shots” blog features an interview with Otto Yang, a professor at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, who speaks about drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and the implications of a highly drug-resistant strain found in India. Yang said, “Obviously [the drug-resistant TB] could be devastating if it spreads, because treatment options are so limited. So far it seems not to have been as contagious as other strains, possibly because the mutations required to make it drug-resistant also make it a little less virulent” (Brown, 1/18).

Study Shows Prevalence Of Drug-Resistant HIV Strains In Uganda Rising, Among Highest In Sub-Saharan Africa

“The prevalence of drug-resistant HIV strains in Uganda has risen from 8.6 percent to 12 percent in the last five years, one of the highest rates in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a recent study,” PlusNews reports. “The PharmAccess African Studies to Evaluate Resistance (PASER) monitoring cohort study report for 2008-2012” — “which was based on results from the capital, Kampala, the western town of Fort Portal, and the eastern town of Mbale” — “found that the prevalence of transmitted drug resistance among people who have never taken life-prolonging antiretroviral (ARV) medication was substantially higher in Uganda” than in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the news service writes.

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