Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 76, Issue 9, pp 624–636 | Cite as

Understanding, predicting and controlling the emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis: a theoretical framework

  • S. M. Blower
  • Julie L. Gerberding


The high prevalence of tuberculosis in developing countries and the recent resurgence of tuberculosis in many developed countries suggests that current control strategies are suboptimal. The increase in drug-resistant cases exacerbates the control problems. Currently employed epidemic control strategies are not devised on the basis of a theoretical understanding of the transmission dynamics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We describe and discuss a theoretical framework based upon mathematical transmission models that can be used for understanding, predicting, and controlling tuberculosis epidemics. We illustrate how the theoretical framework can be used to predict the temporal dynamics of the emergence of drug resistance, to predict the epidemiological consequences of epidemic control strategies in developing and developed countries, and to design epidemic control strategies.

Key words Drug resistance Transmission Mathematical model 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Blower
    • 1
  • Julie L. Gerberding
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus, Box 0414, San Francisco, CA 94143, USAUS
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USAUS

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