Today is World TB Day. Many people in our area remember the TB impacts and prevention of their childhood. Some of the lessons learned then will be useful in preparing for any new pandemic. Unfortunately, younger people do not know that history; others have forgotten it. Remember the caution not to spit? Now that it is still sub-zero temperatures, check out the funny-looking little cones of ice in the AC store parking lot. Pam

Virulent Drug-Resistant TB Strain Emerges
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
March 24, 2006 news/science/

A “virtually untreatable” form of tuberculosis — resistant to at least five classes of antibiotics — is quickly emerging across the globe, according to a federal report released Thursday. …

The new strain, which researchers call “extensively drug-resistant TB,” is resistant not only to those two drugs, but to at least three of the six classes of drugs used for second-tier therapy — aminoglycosides, polypeptides, fluoroquinolones, thioamides, cycloserine and para-aminosalicylic acid.

The Federal report is available here.

March 24, 2006 / Vol. 55 / No. 11

Emergence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with Extensive Resistance to Second-Line Drugs

During the 1990s, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin) emerged as a threat to TB control worldwide, requiring treatment with second-line drugs that are less effective, more toxic, and costlier. Now a new threat has emerged. Extensively drug-resistant TB resists virtually all second-line drugs. A survey of an international network of laboratories determined that, during 2000–2004, out of 17,690 TB isolates, 20% were MDR and 2% were XDR.