tuberculosis test tubes BSIP | getty images

Memenangkan Perang Melawan TB

SEATTLE – Manusia telah berusaha mengatasi tuberkulosis sejak Zaman Batu. Namun, kemajuan dalam upaya mengatasi penyakit tersebut baru dicapai pada abad terakhir. Sebuah vaksin, yang digunakan pertama kali pada manusia, masih digunakan hingga saat ini di seluruh dunia. Selain itu, serangkaian antibiotik, dimulai dari streptomisin yang diperkenalkan pada tahun 1940an, telah terbukti efektif untuk mengobati infeksi.

Sejak 1990, angka kematian tahunan yang disebabkan oleh TB telah berkurang hingga hampir separuhnya. Sejak tahun 2000 hingga 2014, diagnosis dan pengobatan yang lebih baik telah menyelamatkan sekitar 43 juta nyawa manusia. Meskipun demikian, perkembangan ini telah melambat, hal ini menandakan bahwa perjuangan masih panjang. Penurunan jumlah kasus TB setiap tahunnya dalam abad terakhir hanya sebesar 1,65%; pada tahun 2014, TB telah memakan korban 1,5 juta jiwa.

Sementara itu, strain-strain penyakit telah mengembangkan kekebalan terhadap pengobatan yang ada. Penyalahgunaan dan pengelolaan antibiotik yang kurang tepat telah menimbulkan multidrug-resistant TB. Strain-strain ini harus diobati dengan obat generasi kedua, yang lebih mahal dan sering menimbulkan efek samping yang lebih parah. Strain-strain yang resistan terhadap obat generasi kedua juga mulai bermunculan, strain-strain ini dikenal dengan sebutan extensively drug-resistant TB.

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