Author(s): Field SK, Fisher D, Jarand JM, Cowie RL
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Abstract Despite the development of effective treatments, tuberculosis (TB) remains a major health problem. TB continues to infect new victims and kills nearly 2 million people annually. The problem is much greater in resource-limited countries but is present worldwide. Inadequate public health resources, cost, the obligatory long treatment period, and adverse drug effects contribute to treatment failures and relapses. Drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) strains arise spontaneously and are propagated by inadequate treatment. According to World Health Organization global data, 17\% of MTB strains in new, previously untreated cases are resistant to at least one drug. Approximately, 3.3\% of new MTB cases are resistant to both isoniazid and rifampin, also called multidrug resistant (MDR), and rates of MDR-TB are greater than 60\% in previously treated patients in some countries. Approximately 5\% of cases of MDR-TB are also resistant to fluoroquinolones and to injectable drugs, and are called extensively drug resistant (XDR). Recently, XDR strains have been isolated that are also resistant to all standard second-line anti-TB medications. Successful drug treatment of TB with complex resistance profiles is virtually impossible with currently available drugs. There is a desperate need for new compounds that cure strains resistant to currently available drugs and for drugs that are better tolerated and will shorten treatment regimens. In the short term, new strategies for the management of drug-resistant TB with currently available drugs are being explored. These include the use of high-dose isoniazid, substitution of rifabutin in a small proportion of rifampin-resistant cases, linezolid, fluoroquinolones, and phenothiazines. A number of novel drugs are undergoing clinical testing and will hopefully be available in the near future. These include the newer oxazolidinones, diarylquinolines, nitroimidazopyrans, ethenylenediamines, pyrroles, and benzothiazinones.
This article was published in Ther Adv Respir Dis
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals