Drug-resistant TB cases may spike in India by 2040: Study

A new study has found that India could witness an alarming spike in cases of multi drug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis by the year 2040. The study was published on 9 May 2017 in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet. The study indicates that drug-resistant TB could make up one in ten cases of the disease in the country in the next two decades. A similar spike has been forecasted for Philippines, Russia and South Africa too. The study forecasted the percentage of MDR tuberculosis among incident cases of tuberculosis. As per the study, it will make up 12.4% of the TB cases in India, 8.9% in the Philippines, 32.5% in Russia, and 5.7% in South Africa in 2040.

It also predicted the percentage of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis among incident MDR tuberculosis to increase, reaching 8.9% in India, 9.0% in the Philippines, 9.0% in Russia, and 8.5% in South Africa in 2040. By 2040, a third of tuberculosis cases in Russia are predicted to be drug-resistant, compared with one in ten in India and the Philippines, and one in 20 in South Africa. Acquired drug resistance would cause less than 30% of incident MDR tuberculosis during 2000–2040.

Acquired drug resistance caused 80% of incident XDR tuberculosis in 2000, but this estimate would decrease to less than 50% by 2040. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. The disease spreads through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak or sneeze. Prevention of the disease involves screening those at high risk, early detection and treatment of cases, and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine. One-third of the world’s population is thought to be infected with TB. New infections occur in about 1% of the population each year.

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