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2018 Nov - New drugs and regimens for tuberculosis

Kwok‐Chiu Chang  Eric Nuermberger  Giovanni Sotgiu  Chi‐Chiu Leung


Respirology. 2018 Nov;23(11):978-990



Since standardized rifampin‐based first‐line regimens and fluoroquinolone‐based second‐line regimens were used to treat tuberculosis (TB), unfortunately without timely modification according to the drug resistance profile, TB and drug‐resistant disease are still important public health threats worldwide. Although the last decade has witnessed advances in rapid diagnostic tools and use of repurposed and novel drugs for better managing drug‐resistant TB, we need an appropriate TB control strategy and a well‐functioning health infrastructure to ensure optimal operational use of rapid tests, judicious use of effective treatment regimens that can be rapidly tailored according to the drug resistance profile and timely management of risk factors and co‐morbidities that promote infection and its progression to disease. We searched the published literature to discuss (i) standardized versus individualized therapies, including the choice between a single one‐size‐fit‐all regimen versus different options with different key drugs determined mainly by rapid drug susceptibility testing, (ii) alternative regimens for managing drug‐susceptible TB, (iii) evidence for using the World Health Organization (WHO) longer and shorter regimens for multidrug‐resistant TB and (iv) evidence for using repurposed and novel drugs. We hope an easily applicable combination of biomarkers that accurately predict individual treatment outcome will soon be available to ultimately guide individualized therapy.


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