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Medical News & Perspectives
November 21, 2012

Scientists Confront Joint HIV-TB Epidemics by Taking Fight to the Front Lines

JAMA. 2012;308(19):1959-1960. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14752

The emergence of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in patients at a rural hospital in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa gained international attention in 2005. By that point, physicians had become accustomed to encountering cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). When first-line antibiotics failed, they knew they could turn to more toxic and less effective second-line choices. But the outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal led to the “recognition that untreatable TB was out there,” explained William R. Bishai, MD, PhD, codirector of the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research in Baltimore.

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