Importance of improved TB diagnostics in addressing the extensively drug-resistant TB crisis

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12 Scopus citations


There is an urgent need for new, rapid diagnostics to stem the tide of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB. Current identification and detection of resistance for the majority of Mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, require weeks and multiple methodologies to complete. The sheer number and variety of tests required often exceeds the capacity of many laboratories. Current strategies center on improvement of existing tests and development of novel ones. Ultimately, what is needed is a single, rapid, diagnostic for identification and determination of drug resistance in M. tuberculosis. Such a method should be capable of detecting antibiotic resistance for all first- and second-line agents irrespective of the genetic mechanism of resistance. Detection should be achievable directly from clinical specimens. Yet, improved diagnostics are only part of a larger solution. Such a solution must include a comprehensive approach in which careful consideration is given to each particular setting relative to local resources and overall burden of disease. Such an approach is essential for the future of TB control and stemming the tide of MDR-TB and XDR-TB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalFuture microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Diagnostics
  • Drug resistance
  • MDR-TB
  • Susceptibility testing
  • Tuberculosis
  • XDR-TB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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