Cocktail of drugs speeds up treatment tuberculosis

Scientific news

Amsterdam, July 22nd 2014 –

A cocktail with three different drugs, named PaMZ, can reduce the duration of treatment of patients with tuberculosis (TB). The cocktail can treat patients infected with tuberculosis strains that are hard to cure, for example because of multiresistance to conventional antibiotics such as isoniadzid and rifampicin. This is shown by research that was presented at the 20th international AIDS conference in Australia this week.

South Africa
PaMZ contains Pa-924 and moxifloxacin, two candidate drugs that are not yet licensed for use against TB, and pyrazinamide. Of the 207 voluntary participants, all from South Africa, 181 patients were sensitive to PaMZ. 26 patients were multidrug-resistant (MDR).

The results show that 71 percent of the people treated with PaMZ, had no signs of TB bacteria in their sputum after two months of treatment. This is the case in 38 percent of the people treated with the conventional antibiotics. The MDR-TB patients were treated in four to six months, in comparison with two year when using the conventional treatment.

TB and HIV
The cocktail does not seems to influence the commonly-used antiretroviral treatments to suppress HIV. Which is positive news, because the lung disease is the most important cause of death for people with the human immunodeficiency virus. One in five HIV related deaths are caused by TB. Because of the side effects of both of the traditional treatments, it often is difficult to treat the diseases at the same time.

Numbers of the World Health Organization show that a third of the 35 million HIV infected people, suffer from latent TB; they carry the Mycobacterium tuberculosis germ, but do not have the symptoms of TB yet. Though, people with HIV are nearly 30 times likelier to develop active TB, than people without HIV.

In 2012 worldwide 8,6 million people got diagnosed with TB. 1,3 million people died because of the disease. The number of new cases slowly reduces each year.

Source: WHO, MedicalXpress