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The reality of drug-resistant TB in India

In your story on the incidence of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in India (see High incidence of drug-resistant TB found in India), the reported incidence of XDR-TB in India — eight per cent of multidrug-resistant cases — appears to be notably high. We have to look at the data from other parts of the country before confirming its actual magnitude.

The news item also stated that the Tuberculosis Research Centre in Chennai is the only centre recognised by the World Health Organization. This may be true, but it must also be noted that there are other labs in India that have similar facilities and expertise.

In fact, the research on XDR-TB cited in the news story was from such a laboratory.

There is a definite need to strengthen as many labs as possible from different parts of the country to investigate the XDR-TB.