REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2059.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: M.tb pathogenesis; MDR-TB; XDR-TB; drug tolerance; new approaches
Online: 30 August 2023 (11:20:12 CEST)
Antibiotics have played a crucial role in the reduction of TB incidence globally as evidenced by the fact that before the mid-20th century, the mortality rate within five years of the onset of the disease was 50%. The use of antibiotics has eliminated TB as a devastating disease, but the challenge of resistance to anti-TB drugs, which had already been described at the time of the introduction of streptomycin, has become a major global issue in disease management. Mismanagement of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) cases, resulting from intermittent drug use, prescription errors and non-compliance of patients, has been identified as a critical risk factor for the development of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in TB is a multi-factorial, complex problem of microbes evolving to escape antibiotics, the gradual decline of antibiotic development, and different economic and social conditions. In this review, we summarise recent advances in our understanding of how Mycobacterium tuberculosis evolves drug resistance. We also highlight the importance of developing shorter regimens that rapidly reach bacteria in diverse host environments, eradicating all mycobacterial populations and preventing the evolution of drug resistance. Lastly, we also emphasise that the current burden of this ancient disease is driven by a combination of complex interactions between mycobacterial and host factors, and that only a holistic approach that effectively addresses all the critical issues associated with drug resistance will limit the further spread of drug-resistant strains throught the community.