The report details a study by a team of investigators from the United States and South Africa, who found that highly resistant strains of TB were more common than previously thought in a rural area of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, and were associated with high death rates in patients with HIV infection. TB accounts for approximately 1.7 million deaths worldwide, each year, and is the leading cause of death in HIV-infected patients in low-income countries.
In the study, presented by Dr. Neel Gandhi, assistant professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, the researchers tested patients with suspected tuberculosis for MDR and XDR strains. They found that of 1,539 patients, 221 had MDR tuberculosis, and 53 of these had XDR tuberculosis. The prevalence rates in a group of 475 patients with confirmed tuberculosis were 39% for MDR and 6% for XDR tuberculosis—higher rates than previously reported in the area. All patients with XDR disease who were tested for HIV were co-infected with the virus, and all but one died.
(Dr. Gandhi conducted this research while he completing fellowships at Yale University School of Medicine and Emory University. He joined the Einstein faculty in August 2006.)
Further complicating the problem posed by multidrug-resistance is the fact that the epidemics of tuberculosis and HIV in South Africa are closely linked. Risk of tuberculosis disease is greatly increased in people with HIV infection, and multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis is emerging as a major cause of death in these patients. The term extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis has recently been used to describe strains that are resistant to second-line drugs—i.e., drugs that are used if the recommended first drug treatment regimen fails.
Investigation of the patients’ histories and the genetic makeup of the infecting bacteria suggested that transmission of XDR strains had occurred recently, that transmission between individuals had occurred, and that some patients had been infected while in hospital. The researchers say that these findings are worrying, since hospitals in low-income countries have limited infection-control facilities and a high proportion of susceptible HIV-infected patients. They recommend action to tackle the problem of resistant strains that could jeopardise attempts to control tuberculosis and prevent mortality in HIV patients.
In addition to Dr. Gandhi, other researchers involved in the collaborative project were Dr. Gerald Friedland, director of the AIDS Program at Yale University; Dr. Tony Moll, of the Church of Scotland Hospital in Tugela Ferry, South Africa; and Drs. Willem Sturm, Robert Pawinksi and Umesh Lalloo, of the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, in Durban, South Africa.
Karen Gardner | EurekAlert!
How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego
22.03.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
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...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences