Breaking News
April 26, 2019 - Medicines Discovery Catapult’s Virtual R&D Discovery Services platform announce twenty-two partnerships
April 26, 2019 - How optimism can bias prognosis in serious illness
April 26, 2019 - Hospitals Chafe Under Medicare’s New Payment Rule For Off-Campus Clinics
April 26, 2019 - New drug minimizes damage after a heart attack by 60 percent
April 26, 2019 - Synthesizing Modified and Pharmaceutically Relevant Peptides
April 26, 2019 - Using blood thinners in heart failure patients associated with reduced risk of thromboembolic events
April 26, 2019 - Study finds different amounts of physical therapy for stroke patients
April 26, 2019 - Psychologists study how application of cortisol affects exposure therapy for anxiety disorders
April 26, 2019 - SibFU scientists create multilayer gilded nanodisks for medical applications
April 26, 2019 - Marking the start of Pediatric Sepsis Week
April 26, 2019 - The Inflamed Brain | NIH News in Health
April 26, 2019 - Stress-free training may enhance surgical skill
April 26, 2019 - Newsom: California Leads On Prescription Drugs
April 26, 2019 - Exploring novel strategies to heal damage after a heart attack
April 26, 2019 - Small army of tiny robots can remove dental plaque
April 26, 2019 - Cellular communication in emotion-processing brain region motivates us to keep eating tasty food
April 26, 2019 - Greater spousal life satisfaction associated with lower mortality risk
April 26, 2019 - Genetic mutations in brain development lead to discovery of rare genetic diseases
April 26, 2019 - Speech-Based Algorithm Helps ID Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
April 26, 2019 - First birth via robot-assisted uterus transplant
April 26, 2019 - Studies verify novel method of HIV transmission among injection drug users and effective prevention
April 26, 2019 - CircRNAs bind to dsRNA-activated protein kinase which is linked to innate immunity
April 26, 2019 - MR Solutions wins third Queen’s Award
April 26, 2019 - Study details how optimism can bias prognosis in serious illness
April 26, 2019 - Vascular surgery after firearm injury linked with higher morbidity and mortality
April 26, 2019 - New findings about aggressive blood cancer may help develop drugs with less harmful side effects
April 26, 2019 - People with intense feelings of responsibility susceptible to developing OCD, anxiety
April 26, 2019 - Despite expansion of insurance coverage for depression, treatment rates are lower than expected
April 26, 2019 - Huge Malaria vaccine trial in Malawi
April 26, 2019 - Can Obesity Shrink Your Brain?
April 26, 2019 - This oral appliance could help you (and your partner) sleep better
April 26, 2019 - Myelination deficits cause abnormal hypersocial behavior associated with Williams syndrome
April 26, 2019 - New sepsis detector uses photonics to make accurate diagnosis in less than thirty minutes
April 26, 2019 - New study describes process to diagnose rare genetic diseases in record time
April 26, 2019 - Scientists and patients gather in Vancouver to discuss about Stevens-Johnson syndrome
April 26, 2019 - Advance in breakthrough cancer treatment eliminates serious side effects
April 26, 2019 - Discovery about cold sensing could pave way for new pain relief drugs
April 26, 2019 - Children often turn to sugary drinks instead of water
April 26, 2019 - Genome analysis shows the combined effect of many genes on cognitive traits
April 26, 2019 - Patients Caught In Middle Of Fight Between Health Care Behemoths
April 26, 2019 - Drug overdoses among adolescents and young adults on the rise
April 26, 2019 - Implementing a Paperless QC Micro Laboratory”
April 25, 2019 - Obesity linked to a reduction in gray matter
April 25, 2019 - Smart assistants could help combat opioid crisis
April 25, 2019 - Diagnostic stewardship strategy reduces inappropriate testing
April 25, 2019 - Three-antibiotic cocktail eradicates ‘persister’ Lyme bacteria in mouse model
April 25, 2019 - Study investigates how early blindness shapes sound processing
April 25, 2019 - Outcomes Worse for Cancer Patients Seen at Noncancer EDs
April 25, 2019 - Link found between temperament of high-risk infants and obesity
April 25, 2019 - Al Letson explores ties between journalists and doctors at Medicine and the Muse symposium
April 25, 2019 - New mobile phone game can detect people at risk of Alzheimer’s
April 25, 2019 - Scientists discover trigger region for absence epileptic seizures
April 25, 2019 - Stretchy wearable patch can do a health check while you work out
April 25, 2019 - Exercise activates brain circuits associated with memory in older adults
April 25, 2019 - Veggies, Fruits and Grains Keep Your Heart Pumping
April 25, 2019 - Healthy meal kits can boost children’s long-term health
April 25, 2019 - Designing an inexpensive surgical headlight: A Q&A with a Stanford surgeon
April 25, 2019 - States Weigh Banning A Widely Used Pesticide Even Though EPA Won’t
April 25, 2019 - Integrator complex proteins are crucial for healthy brain development in fruit flies, study finds
April 25, 2019 - Device converts brain signals into speech, offering hope for patients
April 25, 2019 - Measles vaccination rates are a ‘public health time bomb’
April 25, 2019 - Maths made easier for scientists students who shun the subject wins award
April 25, 2019 - Researchers decode how cancer drug works in brains of Parkinson’s disease patients
April 25, 2019 - Smarter Brain Cancer Trial Comes to Columbia
April 25, 2019 - Researchers Seek Sage Advice Of Elders On Aging Issues
April 25, 2019 - New chemical synthesis strategy leads to identification of novel, simpler derivatives
April 25, 2019 - Vanderbilt investigators discover link between vascular biology and eye disease
April 25, 2019 - Feces transplantation is effective and provides economic benefits
April 25, 2019 - Eisenhower Health first in Southern California to offer new lung valve treatment for COPD/emphysema
April 25, 2019 - Johns Hopkins researchers uncover role of neurotransmitter in the spread of aggressive cancers
April 25, 2019 - Porvair Sciences offers highly effective P3 microplate for biological sample clean-up
April 25, 2019 - Air pollution increases risk for respiratory hospitalization among childhood cancer survivors
April 25, 2019 - We are sitting more! How bad is that?
April 25, 2019 - Majority of stroke survivors not screened for osteoporosis, despite increased risk
April 25, 2019 - ADHD Screening: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
April 25, 2019 - Cellular alterations increase vulnerability of obese and diabetic individuals to infection
April 25, 2019 - Association Insurance Pushes On Despite Court Ruling
April 25, 2019 - Traditional and e-cigarette users may be more receptive to smoking cessation interventions
April 25, 2019 - Delving into tumor’s cellular lineage may offer clues for customized therapies
April 25, 2019 - Two studies uncover brain mechanisms underlying decision making process
Inaccurate tests carried out on tuberculosis patients lead to high mortality rate

Inaccurate tests carried out on tuberculosis patients lead to high mortality rate

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Inaccurate tests carried out on tuberculosis patients in developing countries often fail to reliably detect resistance to drugs, leading to incorrect treatment and a higher mortality rate. These are the results of study by an international group of researchers led by a team at the University of Bern published today.

Around ten million people around the world develop tuberculosis every year and 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis each year. 87% of those affected live in or come from developing countries. According to WHO, resistance to drugs used to treat tuberculosis—as well as the proliferation of multi-resistant tuberculosis strains—is one of the most pressing global health problems. WHO sees an urgent need to improve quality and coverage of diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

This was the starting point for a comparative study led by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern, Switzerland. The study compared the results of tests to detect drug resistance in patients done in developing countries with the results of testing at the Swiss tuberculosis reference laboratory in Zurich. For the first time, researchers were able to demonstrate that many cases of drug resistance remain undetected due to inaccurate tests, and that this led to patients being treated incorrectly and, thus, to more deaths. The results were published in the prestigious journal Lancet Infectious Diseases today.

High mortality
Researchers collected and investigated samples and clinical data from 634 patients from heavily affected countries over the course of four years, including Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Peru and Thailand. The samples of the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) were analyzed at the National Center for Mycobacteria at the University of Zurich. This center served as a reference laboratory and compared its results with those of the resistance tests from the various countries. According to the reference laboratory, 7% of the bacterial cultures were shown to be resistant against one drug (monoresistant), 26% against several drugs (multiresistant), and 5% were resistant against most drugs (extensively drug resistant). In 20% of cases, the results from the local laboratories differed from those from the reference laboratory. Almost 60% of patients in whom resistance was not discovered, and who thus received insufficient treatment died. Overall, the mortality rate among patients with discrepant test results was almost twice as high as the mortality in patients for whom the test results coincided.

New tests are needed
“Patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis rely on quick and accurate test results and on treatment which starts immediately and is carried through to completion,” says Kathrin Zürcher from the ISPM, co-lead author of the study. However, treating drug-resistant tuberculosis can last up to two years and is expensive, comes with many side effects, and has a success rate of only around 60%. “This makes correct diagnosis even more important in the most heavily-affected countries,” says Kathrin Zürcher. At present, the resistance tests available in many countries heavily affected by drug resistant tuberculosis are time-consuming and resource-intensive: results are only obtained after 8 weeks, making a quick start to the correct form of treatment impossible. “We need new, comprehensive point-of-care molecular tests which deliver results within hours or days,” says Matthias Egger from the ISPM, co-last author.

There is still much work to be done
The researchers recommend investing more in the development of molecular-based tests: “Sequencing the bacteria’s entire DNA offers the most promising approach when it comes to finding mutations and, with them, any resistance to drugs” says Marie Ballif, co-first author. “However, we still have a lot of work to do to make these tests viable and accessible in the countries which are most heavily affected”. In the meantime, the researchers say that the capacity of tests which have thus far been recommended by the WHO must be improved to make the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis more effective. “If we don’t improve existing tests and invest in new ones that are quicker and more accurate, we will be unable to control the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis,” says Matthias Egger.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles