Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR TB)
- What is XDR TB?
- How is XDR TB spread?
- Why is XDR TB so serious?
- Who is at risk for getting XDR TB?
- How can I prevent myself from getting TB?
- Can the TB vaccine (BCG) help prevent XDR TB?
- If I have regular (drug-susceptible) TB, how can I prevent getting drug-resistant TB?
- Can XDR TB be treated and cured?
- What are the symptoms of XDR TB?
- What should I do if I have been around someone who has XDR TB?
- How long does it take to find out if you have XDR TB?
- Is XDR TB a problem in the United States?
- How many cases of XDR TB have been reported in the United States?
- Is it safe to travel where cases of XDR TB have been reported?
- What can health care providers do to prevent XDR TB?
- Are immigrants putting the U.S. at increased risk for TB?
- Why haven't we heard about XDR TB before now?
- What is CDC doing to prevent XDR TB from becoming a bigger problem?
- Find a local Infectious Disease Specialist in your town
What is XDR TB?
Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) is a relatively rare type of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB). It is resistant to almost all drugs used to treat TB, including the two best first-line drugs: isoniazid and rifampin. XDR TB is also resistant to the best second-line medications: fluoroquinolones and at least one of three injectable drugs (i.e., amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin).
How is XDR TB spread?
Drug-susceptible (regular) TB and XDR TB are spread the same way. TB germs are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. These germs can float in the air for several hours, depending on the environment. Persons who breathe in the air containing these TB germs can become infected.
TB is not spread by
- shaking someone's hand
- sharing food or drink touching bed linens or toilet seats
- sharing toothbrushes
- kissing smoking or sharing cigarettes
Why is XDR TB so serious?
Because XDR TB is resistant to the most powerful first-line and second-line drugs, patients are left with treatment options that are much less effective and often have worse treatment outcomes. XDR TB is of special concern for persons with HIV infection or other conditions that can weaken the immune system. These persons are more likely to develop TB disease once they are infected, and also have a higher risk of death once they develop TB disease.
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