Meeting of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) subgroup of the European Tuberculosis Research Initiative (ERI-TB)

22 February 2019, Vienna, Austria

Within the European Tuberculosis Research Initiative (ERI-TB), a subgroup focusing specifically on DR-TB will gather for its first face-to-face meeting in Vienna, Austria, on 22 February 2019. The meeting aims to define ways in which the DR-TB subgroup can support an increase in the volume of research output in the WHO European Region, taking into account countries’ ongoing efforts to operationalize the recent new WHO guidelines on treatment of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB).

Together with WHO experts and supporters from partner organizations, the subgroup will discuss Regional priorities on DR-TB research and identify practical steps for the subgroup to support Member States in addressing these priorities. The meeting will also discuss ways to improve Member States’ research capacity in the near future.

About ERI-TB

ERI-TB was established by WHO/Europe in late 2016 to advance TB-related research in the Region. The DR-TB subgroup was created in recognition of the growing problem caused by antimicrobial resistance, a major obstacle for the elimination of TB. It is composed of experts and stakeholders in the field of DR-TB, including clinicians, academics and representatives of civil society organizations and patient groups.

The challenge of DR-TB in the WHO European Region

DR-TB poses a significant threat to public health in the WHO European Region. Of the top 30 countries with the highest burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the world, 9 are in the Region. Research, including on new vaccines, diagnostics, medicines and treatment regimens plays a fundamental part of WHO’s EndTB Strategy, which aims to end the global TB epidemic by 2035. Tackling DR-TB is therefore crucial to achieving this goal.