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Short course treatment for MDR TB: jumping the gun?
  1. Anna Turkova1,
  2. Beate Kampmann2
  1. 1MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, Institute of Clinical Trials & Methodology, London, UK
  2. 2Imperial College London, UK and MRC Unit The Gambia, West Africa
  1. Correspondence to Professor Beate Kampmann, Imperial College London and MRC Unit The Gambia, St Mary's Campus, Wright-Fleming Building 2nd floor, Room 220, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK; b.kampmann{at}imperial.ac.uk

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Multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB is threatening TB control worldwide. The conventional treatment lasts 20–24 months, is often toxic and half of the treated patients have poor outcomes. WHO has recently recommended a shorter regimen with treatment duration of 9–12 months, aiming for higher effectiveness, tolerability, adherence and completion rates.1 This shorter regimen is recommended for patients with pulmonary TB who have not been previously exposed to second-line drugs for more than 1 month and have no confirmed or suspected resistance to drugs in the regimen, except high-dose isoniazid. Recommendations were based on the promising results of large observational cohorts in Asia and Africa.

In Thorax, Yanina Balabanova and colleagues assessed the proportion of adult smear-positive pulmonary MDR-TB cases who might have …

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