Drug-resistant TB a danger to disease elimination

Drug resistant TB a danger to TB elimination
Drug resistant TB a danger to TB elimination | Courtesy of
Justine Greening, the United Kingdom's international development secretary, has stated that drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that threatens to endanger all of the progress that researchers have made toward eliminating TB over the past several decades.

Britain recently funded the creation of a simplified, safer and less-expensive treatment for TB. The nation is also funding a global clinical trial for potential novel treatments that may beat drug-resistant strains.

“We have made tremendous progress in the fight against tuberculosis,” Greening said. “The global campaign to tackle this deadly disease has led to a 45 percent fall in the death rate since 1990, saving millions of lives.”

Unfortunately, multidrug-resistant TB cases are on the rise, with an estimated 480,000 new cases in 2013. Experts from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB predict 75 million people will die from multidrug-resistant TB by 2050 if nothing is done to stop the infection from spreading.

There are limited options for treatments, all of which are expensive.

“Drug resistance threatens to reverse decades of progress and new treatments must be developed to fight these strains,” Greening said. “That is why Britain will remain at the forefront of the global fight against TB. We are developing a new shorter, simpler, safer and more affordable treatment with the TB Alliance, helping treble access to rapid testing and reduce drug prices with UNITAID, and treating more than a million people with TB through the Global Fund.”