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!
Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications
Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine