Tuberculosis is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and affects the lungs but can also affect other organs in the lymphatic system, circulatory system and central nervous system. Tuberculosis has evolved over years and a new form of Tuberculosis known as MDR – TB has been reported in certain parts of the world. MDR-TB is drug resistant and the first cases were reported in the 1980s with the World Health Organisation reporting that there are over four hundred thousand cases of MDR-TB within Europe.
The biggest problem in dealing with the drug-resistant Tuberculosis is that most tuberculosis patients have other fatal diseases that affect their immune systems. In addition, most patients suffering from Tuberculosis are under-nourished and this has an impact on their immune systems and may as well affect their response to vaccination.
The first case of MDR-TB as observed in 2003 in Italy with the disease resisting all the tuberculosis drugs available. The doctors observed that the disease was resistance to all first line drugs as well as second line drugs including treatment like clofazimine, clarithromycin, rifabutin, thiacetazone and dapsone. Researchers have suggested that existing drugs may need to be repurposed to be the potential treatment for the disease as a way to provide effective vaccines.
Examination of earlier drugs such as verapamil as a treatment for the disease was also suggested by the researchers. However, the efforts to curb MDR-TB may not be successful if issues like over-crowding, rates of HIV, poverty and political stability are not addressed properly. It is also worth to note that there is a need to scale up strategies and protective measures against tuberculosis in health care workers. Lastly, there is a need for international agencies as well as governments to take solemn steps to improve the economy globally so as to downgrade poverty and make the drugs that already exist available in resource-poor progress.