The publication of trial data showing a four-month treatment regimen for tuberculosis that is not resistant to first-line medicines as effective as the currently widely prescribed six-month regimen will inform guidelines that can significantly ease the burden of the disease on patients, their families, and health services worldwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today.
The results of the largest international trial yet to examine the effectiveness of a regimen shortening the length of treatment by a third were first announced at the 51rst Union Conference on Lung Health in October. The importance of streamlining and shortening treatment for tuberculosis has only been underscored in the months since, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt access to health services, leading to declining rates of tuberculosis detection and rising rates of TB treatment interruption.
The trial compared outcomes in 12-month tuberculosis-free survival among 2,500 adult and adolescent trial participants, who included people living with HIV, across 34 sites in 13 countries following a standard six-month regimen, and two four-month regimens with rifapentine, one with the addition of moxyfloxacin. While the four-month regimen without moxyfloxacin did not meet trial criteria for “non-inferiority” — equally well-tolerated and effective — to the six month regimen, the four-month regimen with moxyfloxacine did.
The article on the results, authored by the investigators was published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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