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Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is defined as tuberculosis that

is resistant to at least isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin(RMP), the two most

powerful first-line treatment anti-TB drugs. Isolates that are multiply

resistant to any other combination of anti-TB drugs but not to INH and RMP

are not classed as MDR-TB.
MDR-TB develops in otherwise treatable TB when the course of antibiotics

is interrupted and the levels of drug in the body are insufficient to kill

100% of bacteria. This can happen for a number of reasons: Patients may

feel better and halt their antibiotic course, drug supplies may run out or

become scarce, patients may forget to take their medication from time to

time or patients do not receive effective therapy. Most tuberculosis

therapy consists of short-course chemotherapy which is only curing a small

percentage of patients with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Delays in

second line drugs make multi-drug resistant tuberculosis more difficult to

treat. MDR-TB is spread from person to person as readily as drug-sensitive

TB and in the same manner.. Even with the patent off second line

antituberculosis medication the price is still high and therefore a big

problem for patients living in poor countries to be treated. With patients

not treated, the spread of Tuberculosis would be problematic in poor

countries. In order to fully cure infectious diseases, such as

Tuberculosis, we need a plan to ensure equal access to health care.