Drug-resistant TB drug may cut treatment time

Prelims level : Biotech Mains level :
No Set Found with this ID
  • A new drug cocktail reduces the length of treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis from nearly two years to nine to 11 months with a similar effectiveness, according to a large clinical trial.
  • Nearly 6,00,000 people contract multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) every year. Normal tuberculosis is treated with four antibiotics over a six-month period. .
  • The new clinical trial, which included nearly 400 patients(all severely affected by the disease), compared the effectiveness of long-term treatment and that of a shorter therapy.


  • TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest infectious killer disease worldwide.
  • India has the highest TB burden in the world, accounting for almost 25 per cent of global TB cases.
  • According to the Global TB Report 2017 released by World Health Organisation (WHO), India has topped list of seven countries, accounting for 64% of the over 10 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in year 2016.
  • India’s domestic budget for fighting tuberculosis showed a dramatic jump from about ₹700 crore in 2015 to ₹2,500 crore last year.
  • According to World Health Statistics 2018 released by World Health Organisation (WHO), India saw estimated 211 cases of tuberculosis (TB) per 1,00,000 people in 2016.
  • India has pledged to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of global target set by WHO.

Basics about TB:

  • Tuberculosis is an infectious, airborne disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It mainly affects the lungs. It can be transmitted from person to person through the air when people with TB cough, sneeze, laugh or speak, spit, propelling the germs into the atmosphere

Why TB is an issue?

  • With proper diagnosis and treatment, TB can be cured.
  • However, too many people with TB don’t seek care for early symptoms and get properly diagnosed. Of those in whom the disease is detected, many do not complete their treatment.
  • Despite global efforts to combat TB, which saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced TB mortality rate by 37%, the disease is still top infectious killer in 2016. The disease also has been reported to be main cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance and the leading killer of people with HIV.
  • The biggest challenge was underreporting and underdiagnosis of TB cases, especially in countries with weak health systems and large unregulated private sectors.

‘90-90-90 target’ by 2035:

  • The government has committed to achieve a ‘90-90-90 target’ by 2035 (90% reductions in incidence, mortality and catastrophic health expenditures due to TB).
  • This is premised on improved diagnostics, shorter treatment courses, a better vaccine and comprehensive preventive strategies.

Moscow Declaration:

  • The declaration calls for eliminating additional deaths from HIV co-infection by 2020 and achieving synergy in coordinated action against Tuberculosis.
    and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). India is among signatories to the declaration. Moscow declaration emphasis need for fixing multi sectoral responsibility towards ending TB by 2035, the global target.


  • Indo-US partnership to free India of TB (see Indo-US relation).
  • India has signed WTO’s call to end TB by 2030.
  • USAID-India End TB Alliance

What is Anti-Microbial Resistance?

  • Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is the ability of micro-organisms that cause disease to withstand attack by anti- microbial medicines. From drugs used to treat common bacterial infections, to the complex combinations now fighting HIV infection, resistance is increasingly being detected and is spreading rapidly.
  • Increasing resistance of pathogens to currently available antibiotics can lead to a situation where advanced techniques and procedures in the field of surgery and medicine become redundant and ineffective due to our failure to prevent the spread of infection.

Why does Anti-microbial Resistance occur?

  • The first rule of antibiotic use is that they are used to fight bacterial infections and they don’t work on viruses. A common cold or cough is most likely caused by a viral infection.
  • Excessive use of antibiotics is responsible for the alarming increase in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the country. Irrational use of drugs, overdosing or under-dosing, self-medication, misuse of drugs, and the inappropriate use of antimicrobials in a hospital setting are all cause for alarm.
Share Socially