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New preventive treatment for children cuts the risk of drug-resistant tuberculosis by more than half

Clinical trial results presented in Paris at the Union World Conference on Lung Health showed that a once-daily dose of a widely available antibiotic over six months cut a child’s risk of developing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) by more than half. Funded by global health organization Unitaid and led by Stellenbosch University, the research is the first of its kind to investigate how to prevent this dangerous form of TB in children who suffer some of the most severe outcomes from the disease.  

Because just 8% of all public funding for TB research and development is dedicated to children’s specific needs, research to advance solutions for children typically lags years behind adult interventions. However, the TB-CHAMP results were presented alongside the V-QUINN trial, which investigated a similar intervention for adults. Both pieces of research are expected to guide World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for preventing MDR-TB in children and adults anticipated in the coming months. If the WHO issue a recommendation, it could be the first time in the history of TB that a child intervention is developed concurrently to an adult treatment. Read more here.

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