In a retrospective cohort study, South African researchers found that bedaquiline was more effective at reducing mortality among MDR/RR/XDR-TB patients than the standard regimen.
By analyzing 24,014 cases from national vital statistics registries from July 2014 to March 2016, researchers found that only 12.6% of patients on bedaquiline died compared to 24.8% of patients treated with the standard regimen. Bedaquiline is also associated with reduced risk in all cause mortality in MDR/RR/XDR-TB.
Currently, The WHO only recommends bedaquiline for RR-TB treatment when there is resistance to second line drugs. However, these results show that there is significant evidence that this drug shortens the duration of treatment for DR-TB and reduces the side effects that are often found with standard treatments. While there are limitations to this study and results need to be confirmed in phase 3 trials, the results could have an impact for wider use of bedaquiline.