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Successful Trails in Treating Drug-Resistant TB

  • 16 Mar 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, a small trial was undertaken to test the safety and efficacy of a few oral drugs against the extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

  • The trial showed encouraging results with a success rate of 90%.
  • The favourable results held true regardless of the HIV status of the patients.

Key Points

  • The trial (Nix-TB) tested three oral drugs namely bedaquiline, pretomanid and linezolid in patients with XDR-TB and MDR-TB.
  • Success Rate
    • The 90% treatment success in the case of hard-to-treat patients is at par with the success rate seen while treating drug-sensitive TB.
    • Of the 109 patients treated, 11 had unfavourable outcomes.
      • Of the 11 patients, there were seven deaths and two had a relapse during the six-month follow-up period.
    • The treatment success rate was 89% for XDR-TB and 92% for MDR-TB.
      • The MDR-TB patients included in the trial were either not responsive to standard treatment or had discontinued treatment due to side effects.


  • It is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.
  • Transmission: TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.
  • Symptoms: Cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
  • Treatment: TB is treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6 month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.

Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis

  • It is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs.
  • MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs.

Extensively drug-resistant Tuberculosis

  • It is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options.

Source: TH

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