Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Homogeneous tuberculosis treatment ineffective in children, study suggests

Date:
February 10, 2011
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
New findings indicate that the type of medications and the dosage routinely used to treat children with tuberculosis should be individualized to each young patient in order to be effective.

Dr. Tawanda Gumbo.
Credit: Image courtesy of UT Southwestern Medical Center

The realization of medically treating different children uniquely may start with one of the deadliest diseases in existence: tuberculosis.

Related Articles


New findings by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers indicate that the type of medications and the dosage routinely used to treat children with the disease should be individualized to each young patient in order to be effective.

The findings, available online and in the February issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, show that currently recommended doses are much too low and that a child's weight, age and medical history are among a myriad of factors that can affect his or her response to a particular drug used to combat the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium, which causes the disease.

"Children are growing and changing and, unlike in adults, Mycobacterium tuberculosis manifests itself in children as many different diseases, causing problems all over the body," said Dr. Tawanda Gumbo, associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and the study's lead author. "Since their immune systems are not yet fully developed, you also have to take into consideration whether a particular drug will reach the part of the body affected by the disease.

"If you aggregate all these factors -- age, weight, medical history, disease process -- it's pretty clear that you need to treat each child differently instead of following the standard dosing guidelines."

About one-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 2 million people die from the disease each year. TB, the leading cause of death among people infected with HIV/AIDS, kills more people than any other disease caused by a single infectious agent, according to the National Institutes of Health. Treatment usually lasts six to 12 months and includes a combination of drugs administered simultaneously, in hopes of preventing drug resistance.

For the study, the researchers virtually simulated clinical trials involving 10,000 patients who are 10 years old or younger. The computer simulation factored in pharmacokinetics (how a body handles a drug based on heterogeneous factors) to determine how likely a dose of a given drug is to kill TB. The children were grouped into three groups: fast acetylators, meaning their bodies metabolize the drugs quickly; children ages 1 to 10 who are slow acetylators; and infants who are slow acetylators.

Dr. Gumbo's team found that the drug concentrations typically used to treat children with TB are too low and that children respond differently to the standardized medication depending partly on their age and how quickly their bodies metabolize the drug.

"Despite the desire for standardized therapy, our findings support the long-held notion that there is no 'average' or 'standard' child. It is safe to assume that with 2.2 billion children worldwide, there will be 2.2 billion different regimens needed to effectively treat tuberculosis," Dr. Gumbo said.

He said the importance of the findings is that they can be applied to many other infections, including methicillin-resistant-Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

"This is the future, even for adults," Dr. Gumbo said. "Being able to individualize what drug someone gets and what dose -- this is the future of medicine."

Dr. Gumbo's research is funded by a 2007 NIH Director's New Innovator Award, which supports bold ideas from some of the nation's most innovative early-career scientists.

Dr. Jotam Pasipanodya, research scientist in internal medicine at UT Southwestern, and researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV in South Africa also contributed to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Homogeneous tuberculosis treatment ineffective in children, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210123024.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2011, February 10). Homogeneous tuberculosis treatment ineffective in children, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210123024.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Homogeneous tuberculosis treatment ineffective in children, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210123024.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins