Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Health, Briefly

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Health, Briefly

Article excerpt

Treatment

More strains of tuberculosis resist drugs, study finds

A new study has confirmed, once again, that hard-to-cure drug- resistant tuberculosis is a growing problem.

The study, published last week by The Lancet, measured which antibiotics worked or did not work against TB strains infecting 1,278 patients from Estonia, Latvia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa and Thailand. Almost 44 percent showed resistance to at least one second-line drug.

Two years ago, the World Health Organization released a study with an equally pessimistic outlook.

About a third of the world has latent tuberculosis, experts estimate; it usually becomes active when an infected person's immune system is depressed.

Curing resistant TB can cost 200 times as much as curing typical TB; it can also take years, and some of the drugs cause side effects like deafness and psychosis.

DONALD G. McNEIL JR.

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