Levofloxacin demonstrates efficacy in preventing drug-resistant tuberculosis, offering a cost-effective solution with potential global implications.
Levofloxacin, an antibiotic, has shown promising results in preventing the emergence of a particularly resistant form of tuberculosis in different populations, according to two studies presented on Thursday.
This result is particularly noteworthy given the cost-effectiveness of this drug.
One of these studies, conducted among South African children, is “a major breakthrough that could potentially save millions of children from a devastating disease,” said Philip Dunton, executive director of the nonprofit organization Unitaid, which co-coordinated the research. -Funded.
In addition to the first study in South Africa, a second study was conducted among Vietnamese adults. Both studies have not yet been published in any journal.
The researchers, who presented the results at an international pneumology congress in Paris, conducted the study independently but pooled their findings to determine that the treatment reduced the risk of developing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis by 60 percent.
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is a particularly dangerous form of tuberculosis because it resists the disease’s two main treatments, isoniazid and rifampicin.
While multidrug-resistant tuberculosis represents only a small portion of total global cases (about 5 percent, about 450,000 cases), it is extremely dangerous.
According to 2022 data from the World Health Organization (WHO), tuberculosis is currently Second deadliest infectious disease globally After COVID-19.
In this context, the emergence of a new preventive treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis would be welcome news, especially a readily available drug like levofloxacin.
It is already known that this form of tuberculosis can be treated with antibiotics, but these drugs are often not accessible in developing countries, where the disease is most prevalent.
In July, the NGO Doctors Without Borders urged the US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson to refrain from extending its patent on one of these treatments, bedaquiline.