Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), defined as active TB cases infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains that are resistant to isoniazid and rifampicin (the two most important anti-TB drugs currently in use), and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), defined as active TB cases caused by infection with strains that are resistant to at least one fluoroquinolone and one injectable second-line anti-TB drug in addition to resistance to isoniazid and rifampicin, attract interest at different levels. In recent years the alarming rates of MDR- or XDR-TB in Eastern Europe and some other parts of the world, have resulted in strong expressions of concern from national and international partners, health authorities, and professional societies.
A new online system, which will provide advice on the clinical management of complicated TB cases, is due to be launched by the European Respiratory Society (ERS) -WHO Electronic Consilium.
The consilium, which was launched during the ERS Congress in 2012, was established to provide the opportunity for clinicians and other professionals with TB expertise to support physicians in Europe in the management of TB.
The consilium will provide advice on the treatment of drug-resistant TB and other difficult-to-treat TB cases, including co-infection with HIV and paediatric cases.
A secondary aim of the online system will be to monitor and evaluate clinical practice and look at common pitfalls and trends in treatment of the condition. It is hoped that this will allow for comparison of how cases are treated to help improve TB control.