GPs warned to look out for resistant TB strain

Doctors at Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital first publicised the strain in a letter to the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in December, and the Indian government's ministry of health yesterday confirmed it had sent a team to investigate the reports and isolate the patients, amid reports that two had died.

A ministry statement said the government would investigate the claims but emphasised the Hinduja Hospital laboratory was not accredited by the government to diagnose extensively drug-resistant or totally drug-resistant cases.

"In addition, the term TDR 'totally drug resistant' TB is non-standardised and is misleading," the ministry statement said.

"Testing for resistance beyond XDR-TB is not advocated by WHO, and poor clinical response to treatment has not yet been correlated with diagnosis of drug-resistant TB without laboratory confirmation from accredited labs."

But ANU professor of infectious diseases Peter Collignon