The people on the front lines of tuberculosis control have their hands full, but their biggest challenge for the moment may be containing strains of the disease that are resistant to drugs.
Worldwide the number of TB cases is going down. The bad news is that the number of drug-resistant cases is going up. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of reported TB cases that were multi, extremely- or totally-drug resistant doubled between 2009 and 2011.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Wikimedia Commons
The first new tuberculosis drug approved in 40 years by the U.S Food and Drug Administration was tested by scientists at Colorado State University. The FDA has given initially approval this week for the drug bedaquiline to be used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
Cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis are increasing around the globe, and at a faster rate than previously thought. And if that weren't enough, TB is quickly building resistance to more and more of the drugs commonly used to fight it.
The troubling picture emerged in a study just published in The Lancet.