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Drug delivery system would allow tuberculosis patients to switch from daily to monthly doses

March 13, 2019 / Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tuberculosis is one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases: One-third of the world's population is infected with TB, and more than 1 million people die from the disease every year. One reason TB is so pervasive is that treatment requires a six-month course of daily antibiotics, which is difficult for about half of all patients to adhere to, especially in rural areas with limited access to medical facilities. To help overcome that, a team of researchers led by MIT has devised a new way to deliver antibiotics, which they hope will make it easier to cure more patients and reduce health care costs. Using this new approach, a coiled wire loaded with antibiotics is inserted into the patient's stomach through a nasogastric tube. Once in the stomach, the device slowly releases antibiotics over one month, eliminating the need for patients to take pills every day.