There was a lot of interest in in TDR-TB Friday; both The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC and Science Friday kindly asked me to be on to talk about it. While I was waiting for the phone link to Science Friday to become live, an alarming bulletin arrived in my e-mail. The early-warning list ProMED reported that the existence of two additional cases of TDR-TB have been disclosed, in Bangalore, 600 miles from Mumbai where the first known Indian cases were identified. The patients, a 56-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, had been coming to a hospital for directly observed administration of their TB for more than two years; they were initially recognized as MDR-TB patients, with disease that was highly resistant but not untreatable, but were not getting better. For the past two weeks, though, the man has not shown up, and no one appears to know where he is.
A follow-up to Monday’s post on the recognition in India of totally drug-resistant tuberculosis, TDR-TB: The fantastic early-warning list ProMED points out that the earliest recorded cases of TDR were not the current 12 known cases in Mumbai or the 15 cases in Iran in 2009, but rather two women from Italy who died in 2003 after being sick for several years.
It’s a sad story that was briefly recounted in 2007 in the journal EuroSurveillance, published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).