Innovating for impact: restoring hope for the treatment of DR-TB

Tuberculosis can inflict catastrophic consequences on the most vulnerable in society. When it comes to the drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (DR-TB) the difficulties in completing long and toxic regimens for DR-TB, the cost of the treatment and loss of income can have a devastating impact on the patients and their families.


KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation supports countries to reduce the physical, psycho-social and economic consequences that treatment of DR-TB can have on a patient’s life. Our solutions are patient-oriented and driven by new technologies such as rapid molecular diagnostics and new (combinations of) drugs.

Higher chance of cure

New drugs (bedaquiline and delamanid) and shorter treatment regimens for DR-TB provide new hope to half a million DR-TB patients arising each year. Treatment can be as short as nine months, and will offer a higher chance of cure compared with other approaches.

Implementation of the right diagnosis, right treatment approach

Applying the “right diagnosis, right treatment” principle requires early and correct “patient triage” allowing for rapid determination of the best treatment for all TB patients. The KNCV Patient Triage concept refers to the process of early diagnosis and determining the most appropriate treatment for patients with DR-TB.

KNCV’s approach is designed to:

  • provide patient-centred care through a programmatic approach
  • cure and lessen the suffering of patients with DR-TB through the appropriate use of new drugs and regimens
  • collect evidence on the optimal use of new drugs and regimens for DR-TB, including through monitoring of the occurrence of adverse effects
  • contribute to the gathering of evidence to more rapidly adopt new products in the context of programmatic management of DR-TB (PMDT)
  • integrate active drug safety monitoring and management in PMDT
  • develop and disseminate tools to assist countries in effectively introducing new drugs and regimens for DR-TB within their own context

KNCV Patient Triage Concept

KNCV developed the Patient Triage Concept to ensure that every TB patient receives the right diagnosis and right treatment, and as quickly as possible. The KNCV Patient Triage approach:

  • allows for initiation of the most effective treatment regimen for any TB patient within a week.
  • utilizes the latest rapid and more accurate molecular based diagnostic to identify DR-TB strains and determine eligibility for the shorter treatment regimen or a regimen tailored to their needs.
  • leads to DR-TB patients being offered the least toxic, shortest drug regimens.

Back home soon

Four year-old Ilias and his two year-old sister Sumaya were diagnosed with DR-TB in February 2017. Under the umbrella of the KNCV-led USAID-funded Challenge TB project in Kyrgyzstan, they were selected to be among the first 62 patients to be enrolled in a new project that treated the patients with new drugs and regimens for DR-TB. Their treatment takes nine months instead of the 20–24 months of the usual longer treatment regimens. Ilias and Sumaya successfully completed the first part of their treatment and have gone home to continue their care there and be reunited with their mother and family. A heart-warming moment for all involved. It shows the potential for the introduction and implementation of new and more effective diagnostic and treatment tools.