FHI statement on PREVENT TB trial results

Trial results offer new treatment option for latent TB infection

May 16, 2011

Results from one of the largest U.S. government clinical trials on tuberculosis preventive therapy to date suggest that treatment for latent tuberculosis (TB) infection — normally a difficult and lengthy regimen — may soon be easier than ever before in countries with low-to-medium incidence of TB.  The trial results showed that a supervised once-weekly regimen of rifapentine and isoniazid taken for three months was just as effective as the standard self-administered nine-month daily regimen of isoniazid, and was completed by more participants.

"These findings have the potential to dramatically impact TB control," commented Dr. Carol Hamilton, a member of the PREVENT TB protocol team which was responsible for the design and oversight of the trial, and Senior Scientist at FHI. "It is estimated that 1/3 of the world's population has latent TB infection.  A short, well-tolerated prevention strategy that is applied broadly may significantly reduce the pool of latent TB infections before they become active, infectious TB cases, thereby decreasing the number of new cases."

The study was conducted by the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC), and funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). FHI is an integral member of the TBTC and runs one of 22 active sites in the Consortium, in partnership with Duke University and the North Carolina TB Control program.