Study: Enhanced preventive measures fail to prevent TB spread

    Another large-scale trial of preventive tuberculosis therapy has ended with disappointing results.

    Untargeted and communitywide distribution of prevention drugs does not reduce the prevalence of tuberculosis, the seven-year study conducted among South Africa’s gold mine communities has found, Plus News reports. 

    The study, dubbed Thibela, is the second of its kind to arrive at such findings over the past six months. In October 2011, results of a similar trial conducted among 963,000 people in South Africa and Zambia also showed that community-based tuberculosis testing did not reduce prevalence of new cases.

    Researchers involved in the two studies said they are now evaluating their data to determine why the trials failed to reduce prevalence of tuberculosis cases. Findings from these further evaluations are expected to be released at the South Africa tuberculosis conference in June.

    Thibela and the earlier study, ZAMSTAR, are part of the Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS/TB Epidemic, which receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.