We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

An outbreak of 'extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis' in South Africa's province of Kwazula Natal is highlighting the urgent need for new drugs.

Known as XDR TB, the strain is virtually untreatable.

An emergency conference held last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, heard that almost all the 120 people known to have contracted the strain have died.

Neither the standard drugs nor at least three of the six classes of backup drugs are effective against the strain.

This is the first outbreak of XDR TB which, although present in several countries, has until now only caused isolated cases. The World Health Organization warns that many more people could be infected.

All those infected so far in South Africa also have HIV, so have weakened immune systems. This could mean that the strain is not virulent enough to make healthy people ill, but it could still spread quickly in a population with high levels of HIV.

Link to full article in Nature

Related topics