Observational study of a nine-month MDR-TB treatment regimen in Africa

The Union used an operational research approach to test a shortened treatment regimen for multidrug-resistant TB. The final results of this research showed treatment successful for 821 of the 1,006 patients who took part, with 734 cured. The regimen demonstrated similar success rates in HIV-infected patients

The study first demonstrated a greater than 80% success rate in Bangladesh, Cameroon and Niger. It then went on to implementation in nine countries in francophone Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Rwanda.

The study began in January 2013 after it received approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) and clearance from the ethics committees of The Union and each participating country. The study concluded in 2016 and the results were presented at the 2016 Union World Conference in Liverpool.

The objectives were to evaluate the effectiveness and the tolerance of the treatment delivered under programme conditions. After having standard clinical and laboratory examinations, the patients received treatment under strict daily observation. Their clinical and bacteriological responses to the treatment were followed-up monthly until their treatment was completed and thereafter for two years. The study protocol is accessible here (PDF 790KB).

This study was funded by Expertise-France/5% Initiative.