Once, a diagnosis of extensively drug-resistant TB meant quick death. A three-drug regimen cures most patients in just months.
The [new] drug regimen… has shown a 90 percent success rate against a deadly plague, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis has now surpassed AIDS as the world’s leading infectious cause of death, and the so-called XDR strain is the ultimate in lethality. It is resistant to all four families of antibiotics typically used to fight the disease.
There are about 30,000 cases in over 100 countries. Three-quarters of those patients die before they even receive a diagnosis
he cure rate for legacy Tuberculosis treatments has been hovering around 34%.
Not bad for an extremely lethal pathogen.
The regimen successfully tested at Sizwe is called BPaL, shorthand for the three drugs it comprises: bedaquiline, pretomanid and linezolid.
The BPaL regimen is “bold, because it’s three killer drugs instead of two killers plus some supportive ones,” Dr. Howell said.
Most regimens, she explained, rely on two harsh drugs that can destroy bacterial walls and include others that have fewer side effects but only stop TB bacteria from multiplying.