Purpose of review: Drug resistance, particularly through multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB strains, poses a real threat to TB control worldwide. Recent reports from the WHO and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease demonstrate that the emerging epidemic of drug-resistant TB is a global problem, although emphasis has been placed on several ‘hot spots’ because of lack of good global data.
Recent findings: The present article is aimed at reviewing the available information on drug-resistant TB with special focus on the features of the epidemic in Europe, Russia, Latin America, Asia and specifically China, and to discuss the global perspectives related to drug-resistant TB control and care.
Summary: Drug-resistant TB originates from different human errors, including misuse of anti-TB drugs and other reasons related to prescribers, patients and drug producers. Although there is an urgent need for new drugs, a sound public health approach is necessary for their introduction in clinical treatment settings to prevent/avoid creating additional resistance, as has already been observed for first and second-line anti-TB drugs in many settings.