Staving off a global epidemic of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is foremost in the minds of leading TB scientists, since the disease is virtually untreatable and could wreak incalculable havoc.
In that vein, a new article suggests that detecting and treating XDR-TB in community-based settings, rather than in hospital isolation, may be a more effective way of reducing transmission and new outbreaks.
“Using branching process mathematics, we observed that early, community-based drug-susceptibility testing and effective XDR therapy could help curtail ongoing transmission and reduce the probability of XDR TB epidemics in neighboring territories,” the researchers write in the abstract. The article is in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Among the authors is Dr. Gerald Friedland, a professor at Yale University and a member of the Global ID Center’s Scientific Advisory Committee.
“Intensified community-based case finding and therapy appears critical to curtailing transmission,” Friedland and the other authors write. “In the setting of delayed disease presentation and high system demand, improved diagnostic approaches may need to be employed in community-based programs rather than exclusively at tertiary hospitals.”
Click here to link to the abstract on PNAS’s website.