Susan van den Hof, from the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation in The Netherlands is one of the authors on a Chinese study into the prevalence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). She said, “In order to obtain insight into the prevalence and distribution of resistance, China has joined the global project on anti-tuberculosis drug resistance surveillance, and investigated drug resistance in ten provinces between 1996 and 2004.”
China has the second largest number of TB cases in the world, and is one of the countries with high levels of drug-resistant TB. According to the authors, “The prevalence of drug resistance varied greatly between the provinces, but on average was worryingly high, with a weighted mean for MDR-TB of 9.3% among all cases; 5.4% among new cases and 25.6% among previously treated cases. The global MDR-TB estimates are 4.8% for all cases, 3.1% for new cases and 19.3% for previously treated cases.”
Treatment of MDR-TB requires use of costly, toxic and less effective second-line drugs and infected patients are less likely to survive treatment. In a well-functioning TB control program with low levels of defaulting from treatment, high resistance levels are expected among previously treated cases. This is consistent with the authors' observations in China. If a good TB control program is in place, the proportion of previously treated patients among all TB patients should also be low. In China the proportion of previously treated patients varied between the provinces but on average was about 20%, compared to a global average of 11%.
The authors said, “Many possible explanations for the development of drug resistance in China exist, and different explanations may prevail in different areas of this vast country. These include the inadequate use of anti-TB drugs in public hospitals, lack of supervision of treatment, poor drug-management and absence of infection control measures in hospitals. Also, availability of anti-TB drugs without a prescription in some areas of China in the past may have contributed to the development of drug resistance.”
At this moment, programmatic treatment of MDR-TB cases with second-line drugs is being piloted in some areas of China. MDR-TB treatment will then be expanded within China to prevent further spread of MDR-TB and help to bring MDR-TB rates down.
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
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