TB TREATMENT BREAKTHROUGH COULD SPEED UP CURE, RESEARCHERS SAY
July 22 12:25
MELBOURNE,Researchers say they have made a major breakthrough in treating tuberculosis, ABC News reported. Results of an international study show a new combination of drugs means that drug-resistant TB can be cured in as little as four months, instead of two years, according to ABC News.The drug combination, known as PaMZ, killed more bacteria than standard treatment and was effective in treating drug-resistant TB."This shows its potential to shorten therapy ... for drug-sensitive and some forms of multi-drug-resistant TB," said Dr Mel Spigelman, chief executive of the TB Alliance is quoted by ABC as saying.The results have been released at the International AIDS conference in
Melbourne. Around the world, TB remains the largest killer of people with AIDS."Seventy-one per cent of people treated with PaMZ were cleared of bacteria at the end of two months when evaluated with the most sensitive diagnostic
methods available," the report authors found."Only 38 per cent of people treated with standard therapy were clear at
eight weeks."Researchers say the newer therapy can be delivered more cheaply, safely and simply than current standard therapy.TB remains a serious public health issue in Papua New Guinea. There are fears the country is on the brink of an epidemic.About 15,000 new cases of tuberculosis are recorded each year in PNG. The World Health Organisation says nearly a quarter of those cases prove fatal.