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Indian health ministry challenges report of totally drug resistant tuberculosis

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 27 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e702
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

Sections of India’s medical community have decried what they see as an attempt by the Indian health ministry to underplay the country’s first report of totally drug resistant tuberculosis and to censure the hospital that reported the infection last month.

A team of doctors at the Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai described four patients infected with tuberculosis bacilli resistant to all first line and second line drugs conventionally used to treat tuberculosis in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases last December (doi:10.1093/cid/cir889).

The health ministry, which independently examined the patients’ records, has said that the term “totally drug resistant” tuberculosis is “misleading” and has not been endorsed by the World Health Organization. It has classified the cases as extensively drug resistant tuberculosis.

In a statement, the ministry also said that the Hinduja Hospital had not received accreditation from the government to conduct drug sensitivity tests for …

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