The current recommended treatment for TB is to give four or more antibiotics for at least six months (this treatment is called “DOTS” or Directly Observed Therapy Short Course--but few patients would agree that taking drugs for 6 months is indeed a "short" course). New TB treatments are currently being tested, and it looks like some of them might be effective when taken for shorter periods. Joshua Salomon (Harvard School of Public Health) and colleagues used a mathematical model to predict what would happen if, instead of having to give a 6-month course, TB could be cured with just a 2-month course of antibiotics.
In Salomon and colleagues’ model, a 2-month course led to a quicker fall in the number of new cases of TB each year compared with a 6-month course. Patients who fail to finish a course of treatment can infect others, and it is less likely for patients to drop out of a 2-month course than a 6-month course.
The researchers applied their model to South-East Asia, a region where DOTS is being scaled up and where one-third of all new TB cases occur. They found that even if DOTS is scaled up as planned, a 2-month drug course would still reduce new TB cases and deaths much quicker than a 6-month course.
If, for example, a 2-month drug treatment were introduced by 2012, it might prevent 13% of the new cases and 19% of the TB deaths that would otherwise occur in South-East Asia between 2012 and 2030.
These benefits might be even greater if the new, shorter course treatment freed up financial and human resources to improve efforts to detect new TB cases. On the other hand, delaying its implementation until 2022 would erase three-quarters of the predicted benefits.
Like all mathematical models, this new one makes many assumptions—including the assumption that the experimental TB drugs that are currently being tested can indeed cure TB in 2 months. Nevertheless, Salomon and colleagues’ work suggests that the impact of DOTS could be improved by using shorter treatment courses.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine