Scientists have found an alarming number of cases of the lung disease tuberculosis in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America that are resistant to up to four powerful antibiotic drugs.
In a large international study published in the Lancet medical journal on Thursday, researchers found rates of both multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) were higher than previously thought and were threatening global efforts to curb the spread of the disease.
Researchers on Thursday sounded the alarm over drug-resistant tuberculosis, calling it a curse that was swiftly becoming more difficult and costly to treat.
In eight countries they studied, 43.7% of TB patients did not respond to at least one second-line TB drug, a strategy used when the most powerful first-line drugs fail.
The probe, covering Estonia, Latvia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Thailand, is reported in The Lancet medical journal.