What is Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB)?
Dr. Naresh Kumar Gupta Clinic
Model town lii, Delhi May 8, 2019
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. It is a potentially serious disease and one of the leading cause of deaths worldwide. It is a communicable disease and spreads from person to person via tiny droplets through sneezing or coughing. The disease was once thought to be in control with the decreasing number of cases, but since the mid-80s tuberculosis started spreading. This was particularly due to HIV and other spreading diseases leading to a fall in immunity.
It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through the air when a person with TB (whose lungs are affected) coughs, sneezes, spits, laughs, or talks. TB is contagious, but it is not easy to catch.
What is Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)?
Multi-drug resistant TB is a particular type of drug-resistant TB in which the tuberculosis bacteria that a person is infected with are resistant to two of the most important TB antibiotics, isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RMP). If the bacteria are resistant to these two TB drugs, then these drugs don’t work.
What is RR-TB?
In the case of RR-TB people are resistant to rifampicin, and they may or may not have resistant to other drugs. MDR/RR-TB implies patient with MDR-TB as well as patients with TB resistant to rifampicin.
How do you get MDR-TB or RR-TB?
You can get MDR-TB or RR-TB:
- If you don’t take your medicines exactly as you have been prescribed by the doctor.
- If you are not taking the correct medicines.
- If you get TB bacteria from other people who already have MDR or RR-TB.
What is the statistics of TB in India?
According to WHO, India is the country with the highest number of patients of TB and MDR-TB. India is the second highest in the rank of HIV associated TB cases. In 2016, in India, around 28 lakh cases occurred, and 4.5 lakh people died due to TB.
According to WHO, many people in India are unaware of the fact that all the medicines of TB are available free of cost at Indian Government Hospitals. So most people spend a huge amount of money in private hospitals.
How is Multi-Drug Resistant TB diagnosed?
It is detected using special laboratory tests which test the bacteria for sensitivity to the drugs or detect resistant patterns. The tests can be molecular or culture-based.
What is the Treatment of Multi-Drug Resistant TB?
Before the treatment of drug-resistant TB requires a large number of the drug to be taken for two years. However, from 2016, WHO recommended that there should be a significant change in the treatment for multi-drug resistant TB with shorter regimens.
Once patients have been diagnosed with drug-resistant TB, then it is necessary that they are provided with treatment. It is essential not only for their sake but for all other non-infected people sake too, as once patients start taking the treatment they stop being infectious and can no longer spread drug-resistant TB to other people.