The American Thoracic Society welcomes the WHO’s recently released recommendations for a shortened treatment regimen for select patients with multi-drug-resistant TB, according to an association news release.

The newly recommended regimen shortens treatment to 9-12 months, making it easier for patients to complete treatment. The recommended conventional MDR-TB regimen is a long and arduous 18 to 24 months of daily therapy, making it very difficult for patients to complete. The expert committee that developed the updated recommendations was chaired by ATS member Charles Daley, MD.

ATS Past President Phillip Hopewell, MD, said, “The new WHO-recommended MDR-TB treatment regimen is a significant advance for many patients with MDR-TB, who will no longer have to endure almost two years of treatment and harsh drug side effects. But though the new regimen will ease treatment for some MDR-TB patients, there remains an urgent need for shorter, easier treatment for all patients with drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB, faster point-of-care diagnostics and effective vaccines to prevent TB in all populations.”

Dr Hopewell continued: “The battle against TB, the world’s leading infectious disease killer, must be prioritized if we are to halt this pandemic.”

Read the WHO recommendations here.