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New drugs for resistant forms of TB

An international meeting on breathing disorders in Paris discussed the ongoing research on development of new drugs against tuberculosis. //There is a need to revamp the more than a century old test that takes a long time for detection and drugs to which the strains of TB have become resistant.

According to Nils Billo, one of the organisers of the 37th world congress of the Union for breathing health and executive director of the Paris-based International Union Against Tuberculosis and Breathing Disorders (UNION), 2 new methods of development of new drugs against TB are being discussed.

"During the Paris conference, we will witness the presentation of the research work conducted by two teams. The response we get from these works is that which sustains the hope of getting new drugs against the disease in the next few years," Billo said.

The multi-drug resistant TB that is resistant to the antibiotics isoniazid and rifampin has been a major cause of concern to the health officials for more than a decade.

He said, "The new drugs, if developed, would take into account the resistance of tuberculosis to the already existing antibiotics, their prices would be affordable even in developing countries."

"The making of new drugs will arguably be a decisive element in the fight against TB but this fight could be won only if southern countries have significant human resources on the fight against tuberculosis," Billo said.

Tuberculosis is the world's deadliest curable infectious respiratory disease that spreads by coughing and sneezing. According to the World Health Organization, it claims 1.7 million lives every year.

Asthma and tobacco addiction will also be discussed in the conference attended by over 2,000 participants from 130 countries.

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