Sep. 27, 2007 An arsenal of promising new medications, vaccines, and diagnostic tests are moving toward the global battlefield that pits medicine against drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), which is claiming a terrible toll, particularly in HIV-infected individuals, according to a new article.
In Chemical & Engineering News, senior correspondent Ann Thayer and assistant editor Carmen Drahl describe far-ranging efforts underway to develop new TB diagnostic tests and treatments.
For years, conventional treatments for TB had slowed the spread of the disease, but the emergence of new drug-resistant strains has reduced the effectiveness of those medications.
Researchers are developing more accurate diagnostic tests, new drugs to fight multidrug resistant strains, and ones that are more compatible with individuals who are undergoing treatment for HIV. Scientists are also developing more effective vaccines, including those that might show promise for both preventing and treating the disease, Thayer notes.
"In the past five years or so, the TB drug pipeline has shifted from nearly empty to having about 30 compounds under investigation; several are in early clinical testing," Thayer writes.
The article, "Taking Down TB," is scheduled for publication Sept. 24.
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