Drug-Resistant TB: New Treatment Generates Hope

Drug-Resistant TB: New Treatment Generates Hope

Jaipur, 24 March 2018: New shorter multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) regimen is now a silver lining for TB patients in the state. Apart from providing new regimen of treatment, health department has also laid emphasis on notifying each and every case of tuberculosis.


Additional chief secretary (health) Veenu Gupta alerted the doctors and those involved in drugs trade to notify the TB cases as failing to which they may face jail. She pointed out that a gazette notification has already been issued by the Centre in this regard. She also appealed to the private doctors and hospitals to come forward to play their role in bringing down TB cases to zero by 2025. She was addressing a workshop on TB in the city on Saturday, which was also World Tuberculosis Day (March 24).


Health department introduced the new treatment regimen on Saturday when two persons with MDR-TB became the first two patients of the state getting the treatment from the government.


MDR-TB is a major concern for the health authorities battling to end tuberculosis by 2025. Among all TB patients tested, MDR-TB rate is 2.79% among new and 12.93% among previously treated TB patients in Rajasthan, says national report of the first national antituberculosis drug resistance survey (2014-16) released by the Centre on Saturday.


One of the two belonged to Alwar and the other to Bharatpur districts.


According to the health department officials, all MDR-TB patients and patients with confirmed Rifampicin-resistant (RR) disease, having no history of previous exposure for more than one month to a Fluoroquinolones (FQ – Ofloxacin, Levofloxacin, etc) or a second-line injectable medicine (Kanamycin, etc) can be treated with the shorter MDR-TB regimen.


State TB officer, Dr DK Kala said that the two patients were initiated on treatment under observation of Dr RK Jenaw, head of the department (HoD), Department of Respiratory Medicine, Jaipur, who was accompanied by Dr SP Agnihotri, Professor, Dr S K Sinha, WHO-RNTCP Medical Consultant for the State.


The new regimen of treatment will helpful in reducing the duration of treatment significantly. Total duration of shorter MDR-TB regimen is for 9-11 months, depending on Intensive phase (IP) duration.IP is given for at least four months. After fourth month of treatment, if the result of sputum microscopy is negative then continuous phase (CP) of treatment is initiated. If sputum smear does not become microscopy negative by the fourth month of treatment, the IP is prolonged for a maximum of two months (i.e., total duration of IP is not more than six months). Duration of CP is fixed for five months, said a health department official.


“Tuberculosis in many cases lethal, infectious disease, usually cause by bacteria. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections does not show symptoms and is latent, but about one in 10 latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected,” said, Dr Narendra Khippal, Professor Department of Chest and Respiratory diseases, SMS medical college.The Times Of India, Jaipur