Emerging epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe, Russia, China, South America and Asia: current status and global perspectives

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2010 May;16(3):171-9. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e328337573e.


Purpose of review: Drug resistance, particularly through multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB strains, poses a real threat to TB control worldwide. Recent reports from the WHO and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease demonstrate that the emerging epidemic of drug-resistant TB is a global problem, although emphasis has been placed on several 'hot spots' because of lack of good global data.

Recent findings: The present article is aimed at reviewing the available information on drug-resistant TB with special focus on the features of the epidemic in Europe, Russia, Latin America, Asia and specifically China, and to discuss the global perspectives related to drug-resistant TB control and care.

Summary: Drug-resistant TB originates from different human errors, including misuse of anti-TB drugs and other reasons related to prescribers, patients and drug producers. Although there is an urgent need for new drugs, a sound public health approach is necessary for their introduction in clinical treatment settings to prevent/avoid creating additional resistance, as has already been observed for first and second-line anti-TB drugs in many settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Communicable Disease Control / organization & administration
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / diagnosis
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / drug therapy
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Assessment
  • Russia / epidemiology
  • South America / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / epidemiology*


  • Antitubercular Agents