Drug-resistant TB on rise in Africa

November 10, 2006

Drug-resistant tuberculosis strains in Africa could kill millions of people and render useless expensive drugs protecting HIV-infected patients from TB.

Health officials in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda report increasing numbers of cases of untreatable versions of the deadly disease, the London Telegraph said. If these strains gain a foothold, new -- and expensive -- drugs will be useless as patients infected with the AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus contract TB, health officials said.

Poor health services, overcrowded conditions, patients not completing their drug therapy and soaring HIV rates create a breeding ground for TB to mutate, the Telegraph said.

Health officials also battle the stigma that a TB diagnosis carries in countries where it is linked with HIV, the Telegraph said. The perception is that if someone has one condition, that person is assumed to have the other.

Because of this, officials said, many infected carriers aren't tested, the Telegraph reported. Of those who are and start taking the drugs, up to 10 percent fail to complete the course of treatment.

The World Health Organization said there is an estimated 50 million cases of the new multi-drug resistant TB worldwide.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Big data analysis shows health care professionals at risk treating Ebola

Related Stories

Britain probes sex-selective abortion claims

February 23, 2012

The British government on Thursday vowed to investigate newspaper reports that doctors illegally approved abortions that were requested due to the sex of the unborn child.

Pentagon funding new high-tech venture

August 28, 2015

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Friday that the Pentagon is funding a new venture to develop cutting-edge electronics and sensors that can flex and stretch and could be built into clothing or the skins of ships and ...

Ebola nurse treated in London as Sierra Leone rate rises

December 30, 2014

A British nurse who contracted Ebola in west Africa was being treated in a specialist London hospital on Tuesday as infection rates grew again in eastern parts of Sierra Leone where the outbreak had subsided.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.