The Return of Tuberculosis

Generations of doctors, politicians, and public health officials have struggled to defeat tuberculosis. But, after years of success, TB is making a comeback. The increase in TB in the developed world since 1992 was initially attributed to HIV. However, over time, other factors behind the growing number of cases, such as immigration and a particular type of drug-resistant TB, have emerged.

The World Health Organization has developed a strategy to fight TB’s return, including a standardized therapy that specifies appropriate drugs, doses, and timing of therapy. Unfortunately, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which is any TB resistant to the traditional treatments of isoniazid and rifampicin, represents a serious challenge: because standard treatment is less effective in curing it, its transmission continues.

Moreover, any inadequately treated TB becomes multi-drug resistant, so that treatment failure can be either cause or consequence of MDR-TB. This underscores the need for a determined regimen to treat TB today, as well as a more complex strategy to control the disease, one which cures as many cases as possible, prevents acquired drug resistance and decreases the transmission of infection. The WHO recommends what it calls a “Directly Observed Therapy Strategy” (DOTS) and has set diagnostic thresholds of at least 70% of infectious cases, and curative thresholds of 85%.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/hmzNRhO;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.