Tuberculosis Strain Totally Resistant To Antibiotics Spreads In India

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Are we approaching the end of the wondrous age of antibiotics? Scientists have nothing to combat this strain of TB, as Eryn Brown  reports for the LA Times:

At least a dozen people in India are infected with a type of tuberculosis that is resistant to all antibiotics used to treat the disease.

In December, the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases published an online report that documented four of the cases. This weekend, news outlets in India reported that there were actually at least 12 people with the drug-resistant lung disease.

Officials fear that what they’ve seen so far is just the beginning, and that many more cases are lurking undetected.

“It’s estimated that on average, a tuberculosis patient infects 10 to 20 contacts in a year, and there’s no reason to suspect that this strain is any less transmissible,” study co-author Zarir Udwadia of the Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre in Mumbai told New Scientist. “Short of quarantining them in hospitals with isolation facilities till they become non-infectious – which is not practical or possible – there is nothing else one can do to prevent transmission.”

Patients with TB must take antibiotics for a long time to cure the disease. Many don’t get the right medications, or don’t take their medications properly, which allows the evolution of drug-resistant strains.

Over time, TB-causing bacteria have become resistant to more and more types of antibiotics — and, now, apparently, all antibiotics…

[continues in the LA Times]

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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19 Comments on "Tuberculosis Strain Totally Resistant To Antibiotics Spreads In India"

  1. Tibus Heth | Jan 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |

    The real question here is how can we blame this on Iran and use it as a justification for war?

  2. The real question here is how can we blame this on Iran and use it as a justification for war?

  3. Oh burn, how does it feel to be such a political genius?

  4. Word Eater | Jan 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |

    Honest question: what comes after antibiotics?

  5. Word Eater | Jan 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    Honest question: what comes after antibiotics?

  6. Anonymous | Jan 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

    Bacteriophage therapy.  Viruses that attack specific bacteria. 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_therapy

    Plus, new antibiotics are being discovered all the time, such as these found in roach brains.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/09/100909-cockroach-brains-mrsa-ecoli-antibiotics-science-health/

    I wonder what would happen if the US took the Pentagon’s entire budget and turned it over to real sciences.

  7. Anonymous | Jan 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

    “I wonder what would happen if the US took the Pentagon’s entire budget and turned it over to real sciences.”

    We wouldn’t be sitting here talking about antibiotics.

  8. Anonymous | Jan 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm |

    : )  I would be applying to have photosynthesizing chloroplasts interested into by dermal genome, infrared retina and DMT producing glands.

  9. Jealous that I posted it first? Or just jealous in general?

  10. Calypso_1 | Jan 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm |

    How does it feel to be a connoisseur of delectable steamed porkine shoulder meat.

  11. For the most part TB is a disease of poverty,  mostly due to weak immune systems caused by systemic poverty.  It does not surprise me that this arises in many places that tip the scale as far as poverty levels,  so in some instances you might say that systems which produce large populations of poverty will eventually be paid back by these disease threats.  Read between the lines

  12. Anarchy Pony | Jan 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

    Probably not much that is really that significant to be perfectly realistic.

Comments are closed.