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TB emerging in increasingly drug-resistant forms, experts warn

TB – ‘the most successful human pathogen of all time’

Jo Carlowe

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Tuberculosis is emerging in drug-resistant forms –turning the clock back to the 1930s – experts are warning.

In a special themed issue of the journal Thorax to mark World TB day on March 24, the editors warn that TB remains a threat despite concerted efforts to treat it.

They describe the infection - usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as “the most successful human pathogen of all time.”

The infection is developing increasing resistance around the world to the powerful drugs currently used to treat it.

“Whatever we may have once optimistically thought, TB remains with death, taxes and political chicanery as being inevitable, unavoidable and deeply unpleasant,” write the joint editors, Andy Bush and Ian Pavord.

“It shows every sign of weathering the storm and superb randomised controlled trials, to emerge in ever-increasingly drug-resistant forms, potentially turning the clock back to the 1930s,” they say.

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