By Shalini Bhardwaj
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], July 4 (ANI): With an aim to reduce the Tuberculosis burden in the country and eliminate the disease by 2025, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) initiated a new study, informed the officials on Monday.
At present, the treatment for drug-sensitive TB is 6 months and even longer for drug-resistant TB. The experts aim at bringing down the treatment duration to four months and six months respectively.
"Currently the treatment for drug-sensitive TB is six months and drug-resistant TB is longer than that. So, the aim of the institute is to reduce the duration. We want to get down to four months for drug-resistant TB to bring it down to six months," Director (ICMR- NIRT) Dr Padmapriyadarsini C told ANI.
Around 600 adults would be included in a four-month regimen with a little over 100 patients already participating in the study.
"It is an ongoing study that started last year in December. We should be recruiting around 600 TB patients who will be getting a four-month regimen, the regular FDC with the moxifloxacin added on to it, they will get it for four months," added Dr Padmapriyadarsini.
The study is multicentric and will be done at around nine sites.
" It's a multicentric study each site will take its own time coming on board getting all the approvals training the staff. So, for example, the Delhi site is much ahead, and Delhi and Lucknow sights have started recruiting, they're very fast. Sites like Hyderabad are literally slow. If everybody starts recruiting then we hope to complete the enrollment by July," she informed.
The original plan is to complete by July and follow them up for two years so that by 2024 the success rate is confirmed.
"So, once we see this result, the whole idea of shortening the treatment is just not cure, but to see the patient do not have a recurrence of disease that is a principle of shortening treatment. So for that, we have to follow the patients for at least two years and see the patients do not have a recurrence," she noted.
The study is currently being done for adults with further plans for including children and adolescents. (ANI)