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TB infection rates set to 'turn clock back to 1930s'

Date:
February 11, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Tuberculosis looks set to defy concerted efforts to treat it successfully with powerful drugs, turning the clock back to the 1930s, warn experts.

During the 1930s, dedicated sanitaria and invasive surgery were commonly prescribed for those with the infection -- usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which the editors describe as "the most successful human pathogen of all time."

TB often lies dormant with no symptoms, but in a proportion of cases, becomes active, predominantly attacking the lungs. But it can also affect the bones and nervous system, and if left untreated can be fatal.

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.

"This edition of Thorax, coinciding with world TB day, is themed to recognise the ongoing sinister successes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, unarguably the most successful human pathogen of all time," they conclude.

The issue contains international research papers, looking at a broad range of issues, from the risk of TB after seroconversion to HIV infection, to the impact of ethnicity on the pattern of disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "TB infection rates set to 'turn clock back to 1930s'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130211202056.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, February 11). TB infection rates set to 'turn clock back to 1930s'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130211202056.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "TB infection rates set to 'turn clock back to 1930s'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130211202056.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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