Pathophysiology: The bacteria that cause TB can develop resistance to the antimicrobial drugs used to cure the disease. Multidrug-resistant TB is TB that does not respond to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat MDR-TB. Treatment options are limited and expensive, recommended medicines are not always available, and patients experience many adverse effects from the drugs. In some cases even more severe drug-resistant TB may develop.
Statistics: Incidence of tuberculosis is the estimated number of new and relapse tuberculosis cases arising in a given year, expressed as the rate per 100,000 population. All forms of TB are included, including cases in people living with HIV. In Sweden the incidence of Tuberculosis reported from 2001-2005 is 7 cases and from 2006-2015 is also reported as 7 cases.
Treatment: XDR-TB is associated with a much higher mortality rate than MDR-TB, because of a reduced number of effective treatment options. Despite early fears that this strain of TB was untreatable, recent studies have shown that XDR-TB can be treated through the use of aggressive regimens. A study in the Tomsk oblast of Russia, reported that 14 out of 29 (48.3%) patients with XDR-TB successfully completed treatment.
Major Research: Sweden stands out for contributing more than 80% of its fair share to TB R&D. This is encouraging, even if there is considerable room for improvement in terms of supporting alternative and innovative funding mechanisms. Furthermore, Sweden has recently announced a significant decrease of its budget for research cooperation with developing countries, which is even disproportionally higher than overall aid budget cuts. This is certainly cause for concern.