Tools to Alleviate the Drug Resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), an acid-fast bacillus that causes Tuberculosis (TB), is a pathogen that caused 1.5 million deaths in 2020. As per WHO estimates, another 4.1 million people are suffering from latent TB, either asymptomatic or not diagnosed, and the frequency of drug resistance is increasing due to intrinsically linked factors from both host and bacterium. For instance, poor access to TB diagnosis and reduced treatment in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more TB deaths and an 18% reduction in newly diagnosed cases of TB. Additionally, the detection of Mtb isolates exhibiting resistance to multiple drugs (MDR, XDR, and TDR) has complicated the scenario in the pathogen’s favour. Moreover, the conventional methods to detect drug resistance may miss mutations, making it challenging to decide on the treatment regimen. However, owing to collaborative initiatives, the last two decades have witnessed several advancements in both the detection methods and drug discovery against drug-resistant isolates. The majority of them belong to nucleic acid detection techniques. In this review, we highlight and summarize the molecular mechanism underlying drug resistance in Mtb, the recent advancements in resistance detection methods, and the newer drugs used against drug-resistant TB.

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