On the occasion of World TB Day, ECDC and WHO/Euro will launch their report Tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring in Europe 2014 presenting 2012 data. Monitoring information is included in the report every second year.
2014 theme: MDR TB and MDR TB treatment outcomes
For World TB Day 2014, ECDC is focusing on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB), particularly on MDR TB treatment and treatment outcomes.
In the EU/EEA, the treatment success rates of MDR TB patients have remained stable but at a very low level: only one in every three (34%) patients in the reporting EU/EEA countries finishes MDR TB treatment successfully. More than half die, fail treatment or default (stop taking treatment).
MDR and XDR TB patients face much longer treatment, take more drugs, suffer from more side effects and treatment costs are five times higher compared to drug-susceptible TB. Only complete and successful tuberculosis treatment helps to prevent disease transmission and development of resistant strains that lead to the development of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB), which is almost impossible to treat.
Merely 7 of the 21 countries reporting have maintained a mean five-year decline in MDR notification rates and the overall MDR TB treatment success rate remains far below the 70% target defined by the Framework Action Plan to Fight Tuberculosis in the European Union.
Why is MDR TB still a public health concern?
- TB is slowly declining but MDR and XDR TB pose a serious challenge in the attempt to eliminate TB across Europe, even though the number of reported MDR TB cases seem to decline slowly.
- In EU, only 1 in every 3 MDR TB patients has a successful treatment outcome; more than half either die, fail treatment or default (stop taking treatment). XDR TB has even worse treatment outcomes: only 1 in 4 patients finishes treatment successfully
- By not diagnosing and not treating patients with MDR TB early and successfully, we put their live at risk and pave the way for XDR TB
- Only complete and successful tuberculosis treatment helps to prevent disease transmission and development of resistant strains
Healthcare system factors influencing treatment results of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis – Technical Report