S.Africa conducts trials for shorter TB treatment

March 30, 2012

South African researchers said Friday they were conducting medical trials to shorten the duration of tuberculosis treatment to make it easier for patients to complete the full regimen.

"Fighting tuberculosis is going to require new strategies. The ongoing trial aimed at reducing the treatment period from six to four months is one of the new strategies of fighting the disease," said Gavin Churchyard, chief executive of Aurum Institute, an independent medical research body.

"South Africa has the highest burden of TB infections (in the world), therefore it is important to position ourselves in the forefront of new research to help stop the disease," he said.

The trials are conducted at the TB Research Centre, based at a public hospital in Tembisa township east of Johannesburg, one of the areas with the highest infection rates.

Aurum has also partnered with the French Sanofi to increase research capacity in various TB initiatives.

"No organisation can work alone to make a meaningful contribution towards eliminating the disease," said Christopher Viehbacher, chief executive of Sanofi.

"The long period of treatment has been identified as one of the reasons for poor adherence, resulting in drug resistant , which are more expensive to treat," he said.

This month, TB Alliance in Washington unveiled plans for the first clinical tests of a new for tuberculosis that could shorten treatment times to four months in both patients with TB and some forms of drug-resistant TB.

Many fail to complete treatment because they cannot tolerate the difficult side effects of the medications or cannot adhere to the long-term treatment, according to the TB Alliance.

This leads to drug resistant forms of the disease, or even extensively known as XDR-TB.

A total of 8.8 million people worldwide fell ill with the contagious lung disease in 2010 and around 1.4 million died, according to the (WHO).

Explore further: Researchers validate preclinical effectiveness of TB drug target

Related Stories

Trial for new drug-resistant TB treatment to begin

March 19, 2012

A global health alliance Monday unveiled plans for the first clinical tests of a new treatment regimen for tuberculosis, including for patients with resistance to existing multidrug programs.

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.