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Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR TB)

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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Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis - Risks Question: Please discuss your concerns about getting extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB).
Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis - Diagnosis Question: Have you ever been tested for TB or XDR TB? What was the diagnosis? Please share your experience.
Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis - Travel Question: Has fear of XDR TB ever curtailed your travel plans? Please share your story.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/extensively_drug-resistant_tuberculosis_xdr_tb/article.htm

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