WHO report on TB in the European region

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a major public health issue in the WHO European Region. Estimates suggest there were around 323 000 new TB cases and 32 000 deaths in the Region in 2015, mostly from eastern and central European countries (Fig. 1).

New TB cases have been falling at an average rate of 4.3% per year over the past five years, which is the fastest decline in the world. Nevertheless, new TB cases were almost eight times higher in high TB priority countries than in the rest of the Region.

One in four new TB patients was not treated successfully in 2015, which is one of the highest rates in the world (Fig. 2).

Drug-resistant TB

The European Region includes nine of the top 30 countries with the highest burden of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in the world.(*)

The percentage of MDR-TB among new and previously treated TB cases in 2015 was 16% and 48% respectively.

Around 74 000 people in the Region were estimated to fall ill with drug-resistant TB in 2015. Only 43 000 of them, or one in three, were diagnosed (due to limited access to rapid and quality diagnosis) and commenced treatment. On a positive note, the treatment success rate in drug-resistant TB patients increased sustainably in 2015 compared to 2011, from almost 49% to over 51%, even though it remains far below the 75% target (Fig. 2).1,2

Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) remains considerably underreported, but over 2000 XDR-TB cases were detected in MDR-TB patients, meaning one in four MDR-TB patients has XDR-TB. Most cases occur in the MDR-TB high-burden countries.

TB and HIV co-infection

People living with HIV are up to 40 times more likely to develop active TB disease than those without HIV.3 HIV and TB form a deadly combination, each accelerating the other’s progress. Reflecting the rapid spread of HIV infection in the Region, HIV co-infection among TB cases increased sharply from 5.5% to 9% between 2011 and 2015. While rapid detection and appropriate treatment are vital, only two thirds of the estimated 27 000 TB/HIV co-infected patients were detected in 2015 and only 36% of them were offered antiretroviral treatment. The treatment success rate in TB/HIV co-infected patients reached its lowest rate of 41% during the last five years.WH

(*) These countries are: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

For full report see http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/334681/FS-WTBD.pdf?ua=1