2019: A Banner Year for Tuberculosis Research


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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While TB is the main cause of death among infectious diseases, deaths and numbers of new multidrug-resistance (MDR) are decreasing. An article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases presents some of the important developments in this field in 2019, including:

  • Animal study showed efficacy of intravenous BCG vaccine in preventing active pulmonary TB. 
  • M72/AS01E recombinant fusion protein vaccine candidate demonstrated 49.7 per cent efficacy in preventing pulmonary TB in patients with latent TB (n=3,575).
  • One-month of rifapentine plus isoniazid showed noninferiority to nine months of isoniazid for preventing TB in patients with HIV. 
  • Isoniazid preventive therapy in pregnant women with HIV showed no significant differences in maternal safety compared to three months post-partum treatment but had adverse pregnancy outcomes in those treated during pregnancy.  
  • Three-month regimen of isoniazid and rifampicin in households with TB-infected individuals prevented 95 per cent of expected TB cases.
  • A combination therapy (pretomanid, bedaquiline and linezolid) effectively treated MDR-TB and was approved by the FDA. 
  • WHO updated treatment guidelines and published new diagnostic recommendations for TB patients with HIV. 
  • The Mtb genome sequencing provided crucial data on genetic diversity and mutations that may cause drug-resistance.

In 2020, these advances must be consolidated, the authors say.