Researchers based at St George’s, University of London have recruited the first 100 patients for an international multicentre trial investigating a shorter course of treatment for tuberculosis.  

Image shows mycobacterium tuberculosis

calendar-icon 22 March 2018

The study, known as RIFASHORT, is being conducted in Botswana, Uganda, Guinea, Lima, Mexico, Nepal and Pakistan and will ultimately require 654 patients.  

Globally, annual incidence of TB remains high at around 10 million cases with 1.5 million deaths per year. These rates have remained the same for a decade, in spite of there being a very effective six-month, low cost treatment.

The trial will compare the current standard treatment of six months duration with two different regimens of four months duration using a higher dose of one of the established TB drugs, rifampicin. Alongside the usual TB drugs, rifampicin will be given at 1200mg daily fixed dose in one arm and 1800mg daily fixed dose in the other.

Tuberculosis research by St George’s is led by Dr Amina Jindani through InterTB, an international consortium created to evaluate the clinical and bacteriological outcomes of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of TB.

Dr Jindani said: “Although TB is completely curable it still remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease. In the absence of an effective global vaccine, reducing treatment duration remains the best chance of eliminating this scourge.”

Read more about St George's TB research.