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UNMC Study Could Lead To Dramatically Shorter Treatment Regimen for Tuberculosis


A UNMC National Institutes of Health-sponsored study shows promise for a better way to treat tuberculosis.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Susan Swindells, Director of the UNMC HIV Clinic, says their results showed success treating TB in patients with HIV using Isoniazid and another antibiotic for only one month. The standard TB treatment requires taking Isoniazid alone for nine months.

Swindells says globally roughly 10 million people per year get TB, with around 1,000 dying from it every day.  

She says this shortened treatment regimen could make a significant difference for some.      

“We know that the people that are prescribed the nine-month therapy, very many of them don’t complete it. Because, they basically feel well, they have this latent infection, so it’s hard to persuade the people to keep taking their medicine if they don’t feel bad.  So, a lot of people just quit early, and we’re hoping that one month, that will be a lot easier for people to take.”

Swindells says the next steps are to study this treatment regimen in people who don’t have HIV, and in children under 13. 

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