Media Advisory - Unveiling Novel Strategies to Combat Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - In Vancouver, North American and European
health care experts are meeting this week, February 29, starting at 8:00 am,
to discuss new findings and novel treatment strategies for Drug Resistant
Tuberculosis (TB). The AMMI Canada - CACMID Annual Conference 2008 will also
consider related issues such as:

    -   Global TB: from Multidrug Resistance (MDR TB) to Extremely Drug
        Resistance (XDR TB) - Participants will hear the latest information
        about the epidemiology of TB; discuss the potential impact of
        M/XDR TB, and the need for better tests and treatment.

    -   Novel Strategies for Resistance Testing in TB: Participants will
        understand the advantages and drawbacks of M/XDR TB testing, provide
        an update on process for policy guidance and adoption of new M/XDR TB
        diagnostics, and discuss how molecular diagnostics may revolutionize
        the diagnosis of this disease.

    All educational sessions, clinical vignettes and symposia are open to
media. The Annual Conference is organized by the Association of Medical
Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada ( and the Canadian
Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (

    Facts About Tuberculosis

    -   Tuberculosis, a respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing,
        is the world's deadliest curable infectious disease.
    -   Today, about one third of the world's population is infected by TB.
    -   The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1.7 million
        people die from TB every year.
    -   TB and HIV are a deadly duo: each speeds up the progress of the
    -   One third of people who are HIV positive are co-infected with TB;
        approximately 70 per cent of people with TB are also HIV positive.
    -   The fall in human TB deaths that started with the drug discoveries in
        the 1940s leveled off in the late 1980s. However, the number of
        people dying from this disease in developed countries is no longer
        going down.
    -   Canada has a better track record in the fight against TB than
        countries with less aggressive health care systems in place.
    -   WHO's new Global Plan to STOP TB 2006-2015 will expand access to
        high-quality TB diagnosis and treatment for all, treating 50 million
        people for TB and putting three million TB patients co-infected with
        HIV onto antiretrovirals. The program also aims at producing the
        first new anti-TB drug in 40 years by 2010, and developing a new
        vaccine by 2015, saving an additional 14 million lives.

    For more information about the AMMI Canada - CACMID Annual Conference
2008 go to

For further information:

For further information: To pre-register for the Conference or to
request an interview, please contact Grace Elasmar, AMMI Canada, Tel. (905)
820-4922, Cell. (416) 452-4624,

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