New Drug Therapy Introduced to Treat Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis

The treatment of tuberculosis patients has since long been a dilemma for the physicians because of the growing resistance in the bacteria causing tuberculosis called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A new research presents the idea of a novel 6 months drug therapy of the drug resistant Tuberculosis. This proposes the use of a new combination of drugs to fight the resistance of the Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB).

The research has been directed by Connie A. Haley in the United States and published in the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although tuberculosis is a treatable bacterial infection, the growing resistance of the bacteria has ultimately made its treatment very difficult.

In the mid-20th century, the treatment used the first line antibiotics like streptomycin with an increased duration of dose regimen than normal bacterial infections. However the resistance has changed the drug therapy multiple times. Newer drugs were introduced into the combination therapy side by side but the challenge of resistance remained.as observed from the decreased positive outcomes in the patients.

The resistance in the mycobacterium tuberculosis arised starting from the very first few years of the treatment given to the TB patients. This is the reason why the treatment has always been subjected to change.

There are two types of tuberculosis resistant bacteria which are MDR TB and XDR TB. Both of the resistant strains of bacteria have led to the inapplication of rifampicin, isoniazid and some fluoroquinolone derivatives of antibiotics. The other type includes RR TB which refers to the resistance developed for rifampicin. It is the resistance to the second lien treatment of drugs. TB, XXDR-TB or TDR TB are also the existent resistant strains which do not respond to any drug dose combination.

The statistics show that approximately 4,65000 cases of TB resistant to rifampicin were reported in 2019 all around the world. Out of these 78% were considered to have multidrug resistant TB. India reported 27%, China 8% and Russian Federation 5% of these cases. In total, 1,82000 deaths were reported from MDR/RR TB.

New Drug Regimen for Treat MDR TB

Multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) poses a challenge to the healthcare systems. It presents the resistance of at least two or more than two main drugs that have been used in the treatment of TB. Out of the total number of deaths occurring due to TB, eight patients die due to the multidrug resistance of the bacteria every year (9.5%).

Previously, the drugs that were used to treat the disease were streptomycin, rifampicin, isoniazid, ethambutol and pyrazinamide. Now the new research has switched the drug therapy to a 6 months regimen of pretomanid, bedaquiline and linezolid. The drug combination has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Wide Impact of the New Treatment

The research was clinically experimented on a 40 years old European woman who was found to have cervical adenocarcinoma and was also tested positive for mycobacterium tuberculosis. The case study detected resistance in all the previously used drugs for the treatment of TB except for BPaL (Bedaquiline, pretomanid and linezolid).

The patient received outpatient BPaL treatment for 7 days a week under constant observation. The physicians were highly satisfied with the results and the regimen was seen to have an approval for the TB patients with multidrug resistant bacteria.

In the long run, the new treatment can efficiently contribute to the global TB elimination and play a role in a notable reduction int he TB induced deaths worldwide.

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