Revised Clinical Infectious Diseases press release
Clarification of Oct. 22 Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) press release, “XDR TB in South Africa Traced to Lack of Drug Susceptibility Testing”. For the December 1, 2007 CID article, “Evolution of the Extensively Drug-Resistant F15/LAM4/KZN Strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”
31 October 2007 - The following statement has been issued in a Clinical Infectious Diseases press release:
It has come to the attention of IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America) and CID that some media coverage of the above article has suggested that the World Health Organization’s TB control program is responsible for the development of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in South Africa.
The article in question traces the development of XDR TB during the implementation of a tuberculosis control program. In their conclusion, the authors state, “It is postulated that the introduction of these programs in the absence of susceptibility testing or drug resistance surveillance has been instrumental in the development of XDR in this highly transmissible…strain.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides guidance to countries implementing TB control programs. Its guidance has recommended these programs include drug resistance testing if resources are available. As an advisory body, WHO does not implement TB control programs. The article in CID did not evaluate the performance of WHO, or other authorities, in the implementation of the TB control program.