One in ten cases of tuberculosis (TB) in China is drug-resistant, according to a new study.
"For the first time, we have a representative, national survey of this problem in China. It shows that this is pretty serious. One in 10, by any standard globally, would be pretty high," said Dr. Daniel Chin, a TB expert at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Beijing, reports Fox News. Dr. Daniel Chin is one of the study's authors.
Multiple Drug Resistant TB or MDR-TB does not respond to standard treatment of TB and is more expensive to treat.
"This is a very grave situation because we don't have any new drugs to treat the patients withIt is a problem that the whole world is facing... and over time, it will only increase," said Dr. Wang Yu, director of the China CDC, to Fox News. Dr. Wang Yu is a co-author of the study.
In 1993, World health Organization (WHO) had declared TB as a global public health emergency. According to a report by the agency, in 2010 there were 8.8 million people in the world who were diagnosed with TB. In the same year, as many as 650,000 people were diagnosed with MDR-TB.
In 2007, 11,000 people in China had TB that resisted the standard drugs and nearly 8,000 people had extensive drug resistant TB, Fox news reported.
New Hope for MDR-TB Cure
A new study funded by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization said that "delamanid could enhance treatment options for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis."
The study was conducted at 17 centers at 9 countries. The participants were assigned to either receive delamanid plus standard treatment for TB or receive only standard therapy plus a placebo.
The study found that people who were on delamanid plus standard therapy had better chances of reducing the bacteria from their sputum than people on standard treatment.
Also, 100 mg delamanid was more effective than 200 mg delamanid in fighting TB.
"That's kind of a given. Any new class of TB drug is expected to work against drug resistant strains because they haven't had a chance to become resistant to it. That's the easier part in making a dent in TB," Scott G. Franzblau told Reuters.