Childhood tuberculosis is one of the commonest forms of Tuberculosis (TB) in India and Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) and Extremely Drug Resistant (XDR) Tuberculosis is on the raise. One of the common causes of resistance to any drug is generally overuse and also misuse of the drug. The author describes a case of childhood TB which was diagnosed in Perth, Australia with various tests – and identified this child as suffering from Atypical Avian Mycobacteria or Rapid Growing Atypical Mycobacteria (RGAM) – and treated with simple Clarithromycin rather than with standard anti-TB drugs. Despite the heavy load of TB in India – the author describes the second case, where it was diagnosed on clinical grounds in India, but still tests are not available to diagnose these and most cases are prescribed standard anti-tubercular drugs. Could this be the cause of drug resistance and raise in TB?
Author(s): R. Kishore Kumar