Drug resistant TB Infographic - Text

Globally, 2 billion people are infected with tuberculosis. It’s the world’s #1 infectious disease killer, yet it is nearly 100% curable.

Extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is the deadliest and most dangerous strain of TB. It is resistant to at least four of the best anti-TB drugs and has spread worldwide.

Now in more than 105 countries worldwide, XDR TB is at least 20x costlier to treat and takes more than 2 years to cure. In most places, less than half of all patients treated are cured, with death rates as high as 80 percent.

A new CDC/Emory study found that in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, XDR TB is being spread from person-to-person, adding to evidence that direct transmission is driving the spread of drug-resistant TB in some countries with high rates of the disease.  

In fact, the study found that 69% of cases in high burden areas occurred from direct transmission rather than inadequate TB treatment.

To bring an end to this epidemic, we must move quickly to:

  • Strengthen infection control
  • Find cases sooner and
  • Treat people more quickly

This, ultimately, will save more lives.

CDC is working to find, cure, and prevent TB worldwide, through global leadership in research and technical expertise and on-the-ground interventions in more than 25 countries.

Page last reviewed: January 23, 2017