An estimated 2 billion people, one third of the global population, are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. Spread through the air, this infectious disease killed 1.7 million in 2009, and is the leading killer of people with HIV. Tuberculosis (TB) is also a disease of poverty--the vast majority of tuberculosis deaths occur in the developing world. Exacerbating the devastation caused by TB is the growing threat of drug-resistant forms of the disease in many parts of the world.
Drug-resistant tuberculosis presents a number of significant challenges in terms of controlling its spread, diagnosing patients quickly and accurately, and using drugs to treat patients effectively. In Russia in recent decades, the rise of these strains of TB, resistant to standard antibiotic treatment, has been exacerbated by the occurrence of social, political, and economic upheavals. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation, in conjunction with the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences held a workshop to discuss ways to fight the growing threat of drug-resistant TB. The New Profile of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Russia: A Global and Local Perspective: Summary of a Joint Workshop presents information from experts on the nature of this threat and how it can be addressed by exploring various treatment and diagnostic options.
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