The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
approved new oral three-drug regimen for the extensively-drug resistant
The treatment involves Pretomanid tablets in
combination with bedaquiline and linezolid, collectively referred to as the
BPaL regimen. It has an efficacy rate of 90%. Pretomanid was developed by TB
Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious airborne
bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It most commonly
affects the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body.
There are two TB-related conditions: a) Latent
TB – the bacteria remain in the body in an inactive state. They cause no symptoms
and are not contagious, but they can become active and b) Active TB – the
bacteria do cause symptoms and can be transmitted to others.
When TB infection becomes resistant to the first
line of treatment — isoniazid and rifampicin, it is called Multi-drug resistant
TB (MDR-TB). Two major reasons for prevalence of MDR TB are: a) mismanagement
of TB treatment (incomplete and incorrect treatment) and b) person to person
Extensively-drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB)
is a more serious form of MDR TB. It happens when the infection becomes
resistant even to the second-line treatment. It has a mortality rate of 60%.
According to 2018 WHO TB update, there are 1,
14,237 MDR-TB patients globally, of which more than 8,000 are XDR-TB. India has
26,966 MDR-TB patients, the highest in the world, while there are 2,130 XDR-TB