Tuberculosis (TB) can be resistant to treatment with several different drugs. Tests that identify which drugs someone’s TB is resistant to are critical to ensuring that people are not treated with drugs that don’t work for them, especially given the significant side effects associated with some of the drugs. Elri Voigt assesses the state of play in testing for TB drug resistance and the promise of exciting new technologies, such as whole genome sequencing.
According to some estimates, over a third of tuberculosis (TB) patients have high levels of psychological distress and a quarter have an alcohol use disorder. Following an eye-opening project in KwaZulu-Natal, Atlantic Institute Tekano Fellow Amanda Fononda argues that a diagnosis of an illness (such as TB) should be accompanied by mental health screening for treatment readiness, adherence, and overall well-being.
Some cases of tuberculosis (TB) can be successfully treated in as little as two months – a third of the current standard of six months. This is according to early findings from the landmark TRUNCATE TB trial presented at last week’s Union World Conference on Lung Health. Elri Voigt reports.
When Novel Chegou first arrived in Stellenbosch from Cameroon in 2004 he sold African crafts at a stall next to the town’s village green to save money for his studies. Today, Professor Chegou is one of South Africa’s leading tuberculosis researchers. Biénne Huisman caught up with Chegou shortly after the announcement that he had been awarded the Royal Society Africa Prize.
Dr Francesca Conradie knew she wanted to be a doctor when she was eight years old. Now, 50 years later, she is a pioneer in the field of tuberculosis (TB) and led a landmark trial that changed how drug-resistant TB is treated. Aisha Abdool Karim spoke to her about the reasons behind her switch from HIV research to TB, her initial surprise at the remarkable NiX trial results, and the man who has shaped her life – her father.
A new six-month treatment regimen for drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis is expected to be rolled out in the public sector later this year – current regimens take anything from nine to 18 months. Catherine Tomlinson unpacks why the switch is important and outlines what still needs to happen to make it a reality.
Long-acting injections have been successfully used as contraception and more recently HIV prevention. Now researchers are exploring whether similar long-acting injections could be used for the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
Investing in tuberculosis means that everyone has a stake in eliminating TB as a public health threat in our country: every person, every family, every community, every organisation (public and private) as well as government, writes Dr Yogan Pillay and Gaurang Tanna.
Dr Jennifer Furin has fought drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) since 1995, when she worked as a student in a poverty-stricken suburb in Lima, Peru. Since then she has roamed the world, treating TB and HIV patients in under-resourced countries, including Haiti, Russia, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, eSwatini, Lesotho, and South Africa. Biénne Huisman chatted to Furin about her life working in TB and what it means to see things from the perspective of people living with TB.
While there are nine experimental tuberculosis (TB) vaccines in advanced trials, the vaccine pipeline beyond those nine prospects is relatively depleted. Adele Baleta reports on this and much more from the virtual Global TB Vaccine Forum held last week.
The World Health Organization estimates that over four million of the almost ten million people who fell ill with tuberculosis in 2020 were not diagnosed. One obstacle to more people being diagnosed is the fact that most current tests require people to produce sputum – something children and some people living with HIV find difficult. Tiyese Jeranji looks at a new fingerstick blood test that may help diagnose more people quicker.
The treatment of drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis has been transformed over the last decade with treatment becoming more effective, safer, and treatment duration in many cases dropping to under a year. Even so, treatment can still come with serious side effects and for some, it can still last over a year and a half. In a finding that may help further reduce side effects, new research has found that the dosage of a key drug can be lowered without compromising how well it works. Tiyese Jeranji and Marcus Low report.