Totally Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis - A Patient Is Missing
Maryn McKenna reports over at her Wired Science blog Superbug that Indian officials might have “lost” a patient infected with a particularly nasty strain of tuberculosis. The bacterial species that causes TB has been developing resistance to a number of antibiotics in recent years, similar to other bugs such as the NDM-1 super-terrifying “bacteria of death”.
Now TB bacteria may have developed resistance to literally everything we can throw at them. Indian doctors are denying that this strain is a sure thing, but it sounds like one of the folks who is carrying it has been missing for two weeks. Of course, they aren’t denying that there’s a dangerous TB bug on the loose, just that it’s mostly antibiotic resistant, not totally antibiotic resistant. This certainly puts a damper on India’s announcement that they are polio-free. At least TB isn’t that easy to catch.
For more on this ongoing, slightly terrifying development, check out Maryn’s detailed nterview on ScienceFriday from last week.