Novel diagnostics and therapeutics for drug-resistant tuberculosis

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Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. This is at least partly due to late diagnosis and ineffective treatment of drug-resistant status.

Sources of data

Selective search of the literature on DR-TB supplemented by recent guidelines from the World Health Organization.

Areas of agreement

Better and more rapid diagnosis of DR-TB by new techniques such as Xpert Mtb/RIF are likely to make a substantial impact on the disease. New therapeutics for DR-TB are entering, or about to enter the market for the first time in decades.

Areas of controversy

It is not clear whether new treatments should be restricted for DR-TB or also used for drug-susceptible tuberculosis.

Growing points

With several new agents on the horizon, there is the real possibility of an entirely new regimen for tuberculosis.

Areas timely for developing research

An inexpensive ‘near-patient’ diagnostic test is still needed. Optimizing new drug combination regimens in a timely manner is urgently required.

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