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WHO Treatment Changes for Drug-Resistant TB Infections

May 4, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
WHO Treatment Changes for Drug-Resistant TB Infections
(Photo by Dan McCue)

The World Health Organization’s Global Tuberculosis Program has informed medical practitioners and other healthcare providers of changes in the treatment of drug-resistant TB.

The updates include trimming the six-month all-oral regimens, and an alternative nine-month all-oral regimen. 

“This is major progress compared to what was available even a few years ago, and will be a great benefit for people struggling with TB and drug-resistant TB, resulting in better outcomes, saving lives and reducing suffering,” said Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, director of the WHO’s Global TB Program, in a written statement

In 2020, an estimated 10 million people developed TB and 1.5 million died from the disease. WHO researchers estimate that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TB incidence could increase globally in 2022 and 2023. 



About 500,000 new cases of drug-resistant TB are estimated to emerge each year, but only one in three cases were reported to have been treated, according to the rapid communication.

Some new regimens that have not yet been appraised by the WHO have been tested in trials, such as the new six-month regimen of bedaquiline, pretomanid and linezolid in combination with moxifloxacin, evaluated in the TB-PRACTECAL randomized clinical trial.


The WHO launched the rapid communication ahead of its consolidated guidelines, which are expected later in 2022. 

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

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