Two landmark clinical trials have shown that an antibiotic can prevent multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in both children and adults.
Researchers from the Desmond Tutu TB Centre at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University announced in Paris that the drug, levofloxacin, given once daily to children over six months, was extremely safe.
More than half a million people develop MDR-TB each year. It is hard to treat with current medications and the cost is high.
Researchers of one of the two studies say they have found a way to safely protect children when an adult in the household has MDR-TB.
In the TB-CHAMP trial carried out in South Africa, 453 children who had been exposed to an adult with MDR-TB in their household were given levofloxacin. Only five developed the disease.
The second study, the V-QUIN trial, found that levofloxacin reduced the risk of adults and adolescents catching MDR-TB by 45%.
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