What is Extreme Drug Resistant TB

What is Extreme Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB)?

What is Extreme Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB)?

XDR-TB, or extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, is a form of TB diagnosed in individuals carrying dormant TB germs, with various factors contributing to its spread. These include compromised immune systems, HIV infection, advancing age, and other health conditions. XDR-TB occurs when the body develops resistance to both first- and second-line TB drugs, severely limiting treatment options. Proper management of TB is crucial, as mismanagement can lead to multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), requiring more complex and expensive treatments with potentially severe side effects.

XDR-TB is characterized by resistance to first-line drugs such as rifampicin and isoniazid, as well as at least one second-line injectable anti-TB drug like kanamycin, capreomycin, or amikacin. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), out of 9 million global TB cases, approximately 2% are XDR-TB cases, although the actual number may be higher due to inaccuracies in testing.

The root cause of XDR-TB lies in its airborne transmission, which can cross national borders, emphasizing the need for increased vigilance and effective control measures. Close and prolonged contact with infected individuals facilitates transmission, highlighting the importance of robust surveillance and response efforts. However, due to the financial strain on local health authorities, addressing this alarming trend has been challenging.

Treatment of XDR-TB requires specialized care and close monitoring to prevent further complications. Despite being highly infectious, XDR-TB necessitates a different approach to treatment compared to other forms of TB. Effective management is crucial to minimize the spread of this deadly disease.