WHO updates MDR-TB guidelines

The World Health Organization recently updated its guidelines for the management of multi drug-resistant tuberculosis.

The guidelines, published in the August edition of the European Respiratory Journal, were last altered in 2008, according to The guidelines are intended to inform physicians and healthcare workers, particularly those who practice in low income settings, of the best known and cost effective manner of treating patients.

"The updated WHO program guidelines on [multidrug-resistant]-TB are an essential resource for healthcare professionals with a responsibility for TB patient care," Dr. Mario Raviglione, the director of the WHO Stop TB Department, said, reports.

The guidelines were created from the recommendations of a multidisciplinary panel of TB public health professionals, practitioners, TB control program staff, guideline methodologists and others with TB expertise.

"WHO has produced this latest version to reflect important developments in TB, developments that will have a beneficial impact on clinical and operational outcomes," Raviglione said, according to

The new guidelines promote no major changes from those issued in 2008, but adjustments have been made to provide more up-to-date information on issues in TB diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. They also place a heavier emphasis on the need for more research into MDR-TB issues, such as duration, composition and management of treatment.

"The new evidence-based WHO guidelines are a milestone clinicians and public health specialists were waiting anxiously to guide their interventions," professor G.B. Migliori, the head of the Respiratory Infections Assembly at the European Respiratory Society, said, reports.