XDR Tuberculosis: The New Threat

30 Mar
Published by Miguel Mitchell

XDR tuberculosis is resistant to the first-line anti-TB drugs and at least 3 out of 6 of the second line anti-TB drugs. It has an estimated 85% mortality rate. Clearly we're talking about a monster.

In my field, the pace of novel antitubercular agent discovery is not very fast. I think that XDR-TB is a call to arms and a call to pick up the pace. In that regard, if there are any physicians or biologists with access to Biosafety Level 3 and 4 facilities willing to test compounds against XDR-TB, please consider helping your medicinal chemistry colleagues to test novel antitubercular agents against XDR-TB. Based on the news, I would imagine that the hospitals in South Africa where the first cases were detected would have a source of patient-isolated samples of XDR-TB. I hope that these are preserved for antitubercular drug testing. Is there anyone out there who knows? Anyone presently doing research with XDR-TB?