Shorter TB Regimen Found Safe, Effective In Study; Funding, Attention For New TB Vaccine Lacking

Devex: After almost 40 years, there’s now a shorter treatment for TB
“A large-scale international study found a shorter treatment course for tuberculosis, but policy considerations, as well as drug cost and availability, could delay its implementation. The current standard treatment for people with drug-susceptible TB runs for six months and includes a combination of the drugs isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide. All four drugs are taken for two months, and then patients switch to isoniazid and rifampin for the remaining four months. But results of the 31/A5349 study — led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tuberculosis Trials Consortium and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, with funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — found that a four-month treatment course replacing rifampin and ethambutol with high-dose rifapentine and moxifloxacin, respectively, is as safe and effective as the six-month treatment regimen in curing patients with drug-susceptible TB…” (Ravelo, 10/22).

Devex: Q&A: What COVID-19 means for TB vaccine development
“Experts are predicting a novel coronavirus vaccine could be available by 2021, but the timeline for the creation of a new tuberculosis vaccine remains uncertain. … In less than a year, 10 COVID-19 vaccine candidates have entered phase III clinical trials. But the coronavirus has also exposed significant gaps in funding and attention given to vaccine development for other infectious diseases, including tuberculosis. To date, the century-old bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine, mainly used for infants and young children, is the only licensed TB vaccine. By 2021, it will be 100 years since the BCG vaccine was first administered in humans…” (Ravelo, 10/22).

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