Author(s): de la Va E, Barn R, Molins E, Arriero JM
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Abstract Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be an important public health problem. Currently, 2,100 million people--one third of the world population--are infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with an estimated annual rate of 9.4 million new cases, and 440,000 cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB in 2008; furthermore, cases of extensively-resistant (XDR) TB have been detected in 57 countries. While TB cases are constantly declining in industrialized countries, the rates and mortality due to this infection in developing countries remain alarming and will continue to be so in the future. Although the priorities in these countries are at present simpler, methods allowing rapid diagnosis of TB and of resistant strains will obviously contribute to better control of the disease. Nucleic acid amplification techniques allow M. tuberculosis detection in clinical samples in a few hours, while liquid media cultures may yield positive results in only 2 to 4 weeks, half the time that is usually required for growth in conventional solid media, which also allows more rapid determination of drug susceptibilities. Similarly, based on molecular biology, several approaches may rapidly identify gene mutations associated with resistance to antituberculosis drugs in clinical samples. Finally, the main obstacle to treatment adherence among patients--its length--could be minimized in the future if the new combinations of drugs currently under investigation, and some promising new vaccines, confirm similar rates of efficacy to those used at present. Copyright © 2011 Sociedad Española de Neumología y Cirugía Torácica. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Arch Bronconeumol
and referenced in International Journal of Waste Resources