Drug resistance

A new hope for fighting drug-resistant infections

Researchers said they successfully treated a patient's drug-resistant infection using genetically engineered viruses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: This is the first reported use of genetically engineered bacteriophages to treat a patient, according to the researchers. If its success can be replicated, that could be a big deal for the effort to tackle drug-resistant infections.

WHO report: TB remains "public health crisis" despite decline

Photo of sand sculpture in India urging leaders to create a TB-free world
A sand sculpture on the beach at Puri, India, on Tuberculosis Day, March 24. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While mortality has dropped from tuberculosis infections, nations must still accelerate their response to what remains "the world's deadliest disease," according to medical leaders speaking at the launch of an annual World Health Organization report today.

Threat level: Among the concerns is the estimated 558,000 people with TB who developed drug resistance in 2017 to at least one of the key antibiotics, with the vast majority showing multi-drug resistance — which is a "public health crisis," says Tereza Kasaeva, director of WHO's global TB program.