World Health Organization (WHO) is urging countries to facilitate access to fully-oral treatment regimens for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in updated guidlines released on June 15.
According to WHO, this will lead to major improvements in treatment outcomes and quality of life for those affected.
The guidelines are accompanied by an operational handbook to facilitate rapid implementation and roll out by national TB programmes, Ministries of Health, technical partners and others involved in the treatment of patients with drug resistant TB.
The consolidated guidelines on drug resistant TB treatment and the associated operational handbook recommend key updates to treatment approaches. These include:
This regimen is 6-9 months long and contains a new compound that has not been used in TB regimens previously - pretomanid, in combination with bedaquiline and linezolid.
Other changes outlined in the new guidelines and operational handbook include positive advice about the safety of bedaquiline use beyond six months in duration, the use of bedaquiline and delamanid together and the use of bedaquiline during pregnancy.
The full text of the guidelines: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240007048