In Russia, the epidemic situation with tuberculosis has worsened and mortality rates from this disease have increased. Over the ten months of 2023, the number of newly diagnosed patients increased compared to the same period last year in 34 subjects, mortality in 25, the director of the National Medical Research Center for Phthisiopulmonology, the chief freelance phthisiatrician of the Ministry of Health, reported on December 18 at the conference “Tuberculosis and modern infections: new challenges and prospects.”
Russia previously achieved exit from the WHO list of countries with a high burden of tuberculosis, but due to The COVID-19 situation in the world has worsened, the specialist noted. “For the development of tuberculosis covid and postcovid may serve as an impetus. We have kept the tuberculosis situation under control during the pandemic. But now, if we don’t take emergency measures soon, then all our efforts will roll back,” Vasilyeva warned.
The proportion of patients with destruction among newly diagnosed patients with tuberculosis was 46.8% in 2022 (46.7% in 2021). Data for the ten months of 2023 was not disclosed.
Among the dangerous trends, the chief specialist also named the high level of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (37% among new cases and relapses) and the prevalence of tuberculosis/HIV co-infection (26% among new cases and relapses). According to Vasilyeva, Among the most effective anti-epidemic measures is the development of a new vaccine, GamTBvac (clinical trials are planned to be completed in July 2025); development of domestic test systems for accelerated diagnosis and determination of drug resistance; testing of short chemotherapy regimens.
“Every year we bring something new to clinical guidelines. The latest is the introduction of short, 12-month regimes. But that is not all. The development of 9-month regimens is currently underway, and the first results are very good. It is to short regimes that we should strive. Our research proves that it is quite possible to cure a patient with multi- and even extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in a shorter period of time,” Vasilyeva clarified.
In the first five months of 2023, the incidence of tuberculosis among children under 14 years of age increased in Russia, MV wrote with reference to the monthly report on infectious diseases of Rospotrebnadzor. According to the data studied, newly diagnosed tuberculosis (active forms) was found in 703 children – this is 17% more than last year’s values. The incidence of respiratory tuberculosis increased even more – by 19%, to 666 cases.
The incidence among the entire population is also growing, but at a slower pace. The number of newly diagnosed active forms of tuberculosis among children and adults increased by 4%, to 17.1 thousand cases, respiratory tuberculosis – by 5%, to 16.5 thousand cases. As experts explained, the increase is partly due to refusals to vaccinate children and false medical referrals.
Earlier, WHO announced an increase in mortality from tuberculosis due to failures in healthcare systems. In 2022, tuberculosis remained the second leading cause of death worldwide from a single infectious agent, after COVID-19. A record number of newly diagnosed cases were reported.