Supporting clinical management of the difficult-to-treat TB cases: the ERS-WHO TB Consilium

Int J Infect Dis. 2015 Mar;32:156-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2014.12.024.


Multi-drug and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/XDR-TB) are considered a serious threat for TB control and elimination. The outcome of these patients is still largely unsatisfactory as of today, with treatment success rates being consistently below 50% at global level. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that management of MDR-TB cases is supported by a specialized team, including complementary medical professionals able to cover several perspectives (clinical, both for adults and children; surgical; radiological; public health; psychological; nursing, among others). Implementation of such a body (known as Consilium in most of the former Soviet Union countries) is often a pre-requisite to apply for international TB control funding and concessionally priced medicines to treat M/XDR-TB cases. The primary objective of the ERS/WHO TB Consilium is to provide clinical consultation for drug-resistant TB and other difficult-to-treat TB cases, including co-infection with HIV and paediatric cases. Through technical guidance to clinicians managing complex TB cases, the main contribution and outcome of the initiative will be a public health response aimed at achieving correct treatment of affected patients and preventing further development of drug resistance. The Consilum's secondary objective is to ensure monitoring and evaluation of clinical practices on the ground (diagnosis, treatment and prevention).

Keywords: ERS/WHO Consilium; MDR-TB; XDR-TB; clinical management; drug resistance; prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Management
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / prevention & control
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / therapy*
  • World Health Organization*
  • Young Adult