Sep 10, 2021

GOHi leads large-scale TB prevention study in Africa

A large clinical trial conducted in Africa by Ohio State’s Global One Health initiative (GOHi) indicated HIV positive people that live in high tuberculosis-transmission regions are more likely to complete short course TB-prevention regimens than standard treatments. 

Getnet Yimer, director of GOHi’s Eastern Africa Regional Office, and Shu-HuaWang, professor of internal medicine specializing in infectious diseases led Ohio State’s participation in the study of 4,000 people who were all HIV-positive and taking antiretroviral therapy in South Africa, Ethiopia and Mozambique. Their results were published Aug. 23 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Participants were much more likely to finish a TB-prevention regimen lasting just three months –half as long as the standard treatment. The protocol involves a total of 12 weekly doses of tuberculosis preventive therapy rather than daily pills for six months.

“The major objective was determining whether we can replace 180 doses of INH alone over six months with 12 total doses of INH and rifapentine together over three months,” said Yimer. “We showed the shorter course really works – treatment completion was significantly higher, and effectiveness was just as high.”

The study’s preliminary data suggest that the shorter course of treatment was as safe and effective at preventing active TB as the six-month regimen, long considered the standard of care for immunocompromised people in Africa and other high TB-transmission regions. 

The trial was the first TB-prevention study to be conducted with such a large sample in three countries using a method matching how typical clinics would operate.  

“The goal is to get the medicine out there and have people take it, and not have so many logistical barriers for them,” Wang said.

View the complete story at Ohio State News.