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Major funding awarded to improve treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV co-infection
Date:7/26/2010

with MDR-TB/HIV. While ART has markedly improved survival for people with HIV who are infected with drug-susceptible TB, it is not known how well the therapy will work for those infected with drug-resistant TB.

The study will involve 350 patients who live in the Tugela Ferry area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa where South African health officials estimate nearly 39 percent of pregnant women are infected with HIV. One hundred and fifty patients co-infected with MDR-TB and HIV will be given ART plus treatment for MDR-TB; their outcomes, as well as adverse events and their adherence to therapy, will be compared with: (a) 50 controls that have MDR TB, but not HIV, and (b) 150 controls that have drug-susceptible TB and HIV co-infection.

The control group patients will all receive TB therapy, and the 150 control patients with drug-susceptible TB and HIV co-infection will also receive ART. All patients will be followed for three years.

South Africa has the highest burden of HIV worldwide and a rapidly expanding MDR-TB epidemic. In South Africa and in other regions, co-infection with MDR-TB and HIV has been associated with exceedingly high mortality − up to 80 percent at one year.

In April, Einstein scientists were awarded a five-year, $3.9 million grant from the NIAID to study how extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is transmitted in rural South Africa. "The findings could alter public health approaches for controlling the XDR-TB epidemic in the developing world," said principal investigator Sarita Shah, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine and of epidemiology & population health.

In May,

Contact: Deirdre Branley
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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