What is Extreme Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB)?

Updated at: Mar 22, 2012
What is Extreme Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB)?

Extreme Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB): Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is a critical form of tuberculosis wherein the body becomes resistant to anti-TB drugs. Mismanagement of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) raises health complica

Himanshu Sharma
Communicable DiseasesWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Mar 17, 2012

XDR-TB, abbreviated form of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), is diagnosed in individuals infected with dormant TB germs. There could be ample reasons of spreading bacteria. Among reasons of getting marred by the complication are ineffectiveness of immune system, HIV infection, advancing age, or health conditions. XDR-TB is a condition wherein body becomes resistant to first and second-line drugs. Due to this, it is recommended to manage TB properly as there are very limited treatment options available.

Among ways of treating tuberculosis are courses of four standard, first-line and drug-regimen of anti-TB drugs. Inappropriate dosage or mismanagement of these drugs can lead to multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Treatment of MDR-TB is a time consuming process, wherein more expensive drugs are used and side-effects can be many. Mismanagement or misuse of these second-line drugs makes these ineffective, and raises more complications.

What is XDR-TB?

XDR-TB is a condition of tuberculosis with resistance to first-line and second-line drugs, usually irifampicin and isoniazid. Affected becomes resistant to at least one of the second-line anti-TB injectable drugs family, which includes kanamycin, capreomycin and amikacin.

As per report released by World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 9 million cases of Tuberculosis around the globe. In these 9 million, 2% are the cases of XDR-TB. The toll figure might be more as tests were not carried out correctly or throughout.

Root Cause of Extreme Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB)?

World Health Organisation (WHO), health regulatory body, has been spreading word of caution against the dangers of XDR-TB. Treat becomes more as the infection is airborne that can travel beyond national fences.

The infection spreads through close and prolonged contact with infected individuals. Therefore, there is a need of better vigilance to counter the challenge. The fatal form of tuberculosis has been grasping people at a rapid rate. Owing to financial burden on local health authorities, the alarming phenomenon has not been attended well.

Treatment of Extreme Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB)

Extreme drug resistant TB (XDR-TB) is more infectious than all other forms of tuberculosis, but does require different treatment. Affected individuals are monitored closely in the course of treatment so that complications do not mount any further.


Read more articles on Understand Tuberculosis


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