Researchers from the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam have completed what is probably the largest ever controlled trial of tuberculous meningitis. The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Tuberculous meningitis is the most destructive form of the disease, with tuberculosis bacteria infecting the thin sheaths covering the central nervous system, resuling in fever and headaches. One third of infected patients die, despite current treatment.
Guy Thwaites and his colleagues therefore tested whether an intensified antituberculosis treatment (higher doses of a currently used antibiotic, rifampin, combined with another antibiotic, levofloxacin) might help improve survival rates.