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Survey Finds 1 In 10 New Cases Of TB In China Are Drug-Resistant

“One in 10 cases of tuberculosis in China cannot be treated by the most commonly-used drugs, driven by a lack of testing and misuse of medicine, according to a national survey that showed for the first time the size of the drug-resistant epidemic,” the Associated Press reports (Wong, 6/7). “‘In 2007, one third of the patients with new cases of tuberculosis and one half of the patients with previously treated tuberculosis had drug-resistant disease,’ said the study in the New England Journal of Medicine,” Agence France-Presse reports, adding, “Even more, the prevalence of multi-drug resistant [tuberculosis (MDR-TB)] in new cases (5.7 percent) was nearly twice the global average, said the study” (6/6).

Experimental Drug Tested Against Multi-Drug Resistant TB

“Researchers who tested a novel type of antibiotic against multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis [MDR-TB] are reporting that nearly half of patients who got the new drug cleared the bacteria from their lung fluid in two months,” according to a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, Reuters reports. Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka developed the experimental drug, delamanid, and “also designed and financed the clinical trial, which took place in 17 medical centers across nine countries,” the news service writes (Emery, 6/6).

WHO Releases Programmatic Update On Antiretroviral Treatment As Prevention Of HIV, TB

“The potential for antiretroviral medicine to reduce transmission of HIV and tuberculosis has been demonstrated, but the challenges of using treatment to prevent infection will need to be tackled country by country, and with focus on people for whom it will have the biggest impact, the latest bulletin on HIV treatment from the World Health Organization says,” the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports. “WHO’s June 2012 Antiretroviral Treatment as Prevention (TasP) of HIV and TB Programmatic Update is the latest of a series of documents the organization says will lead to a completed set of guidelines on treatment and prevention in July 2013,” the blog reports, noting, “The organization also plans to release new recommendations in time for the July International AIDS Conference, addressing the preventative use of antiretroviral medicine by people who are uninfected but potentially exposed to HIV, including those involved in commercial sex work, in ongoing relationships with infected partners, and men who have sex with men” (6/18).

Panelists Discuss Recent Changes To Global Fund During Kaiser Family Foundation Webcast

During a live webcast discussing recent changes at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, “[p]anelists discussed the fund’s new strategy and what this strategy means for the global fight against these three diseases,” GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog reports. J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted the Global Fund’s new general manager, Gabriel Jaramillo, had moved quickly in focusing on restructuring and realigning the fund, according to the blog. Todd Summers, independent consultant and chair of the Strategy, Investment & Impact Committee at the Global Fund, said, “Now we see lots of opportunity to really make a big difference and change forever the trajectory” of the epidemics, “Global Pulse” notes.

South African TB Conference Hears Demands From Advocacy Organizations To Improve, Decentralize Treatment

The 2012 South African TB Conference opened Tuesday night in Durban, with the Treatment Action Campaign, Section27, and Oxfam delivering “a memorandum containing five demands to conference organizers shortly before the opening,” health-e News Service reports. The organizations “called for patients with drug-resistant TB who were failing to respond to treatment to be given ‘access to the best available medicines,'” even if they are not yet approved by the Medicines Control Council; “the diagnosis of all people living with TB”; and “the decentralization of care for people with drug-resistant TB, enabling them to be treated at home instead of hospitalized for long periods,” the news service writes (Cullinan, 6/13).

Researchers Await Clinical Trial Results Of Potential TB Vaccine, Expected Early Next Week

“After nearly 100 years, researchers could be on the verge of finding a vaccine that would eradicate tuberculosis [TB] infections,” Reuters reports, noting, “Global health experts are eagerly awaiting clinical trial results, expected early next week, of the first new vaccine in 90 years designed to prevent tuberculosis infections.” The…

Experimental TB Vaccine Does Not Protect Infants, Study Shows

“Hopes that a much needed new tuberculosis [TB] vaccine was on the way, the first for 90 years, have been dashed by trial results showing it did not protect babies against the disease,” the Guardian reports (Boseley, 2/4). “The vaccine, known as MVA85A, is the most advanced of more than a dozen TB vaccines…

CDC, State Department, World Bank Should Lead Fight Against Fake, Substandard TB Drugs

“Thanks to billions of dollars spent on diagnosis and treatment [of tuberculosis (TB)] over the past decade, deaths and infections are slowly declining,” but “fake and poorly made antibiotics are being widely used to treat tuberculosis,” according to a study “to be published [Tuesday] in the International Journal of Tuberculosis…

TB Vaccine Candidate Trial Results Are ‘Landmark’ In Fight Against Disease

“Today marks an important landmark for the fight against tuberculosis (TB),” with the publication in the Lancet of clinical trial results showing the TB vaccine candidate MVA85A “was no more effective in protecting infants from developing pulmonary TB than” the standard Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, Peggy Johnston, senior program officer at the…

Washington Post Examines Relationship Between Counterfeit Drugs, Rise Of Drug-Resistant TB

The Washington Post examines the emergence of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis (TB) around the world, writing, “One culprit in the rise of untreatable TB is counterfeit drugs, which can undermine treatment efforts by packing insufficient active ingredients to fully kill off bacteria, breeding new, stronger super-strains of the disease.” According to the…