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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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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