Anti-tuberculosis activity of -lactam antibiotics: prospects for the treatment of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis

  • Getahun Abate


Tuberculosis (TB) is a global problem and the spread of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB, defined as resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, is a formidable challenge for control programs. There are no widely accepted standard regimens for the treatment of MDR-TB. However, a considerable proportion of cases can be cured with a regimen containing both first-line and second-line drugs. In order to prevent the development of resistance to drugs already in use and also to try to develop a standard regimen, there is need to look for new drugs. This review is prepared to show results on the anti-TB activity of -lactam antibiotics. -Lactams are among the oldest drugs with little or no side effects. Both in vitro studies and clinical data indicate that -lactams have a promising activity for use in the management of MDR-TB. More studies are required to define the interaction of -lactams with other first-line and second-line drugs, and to clearly show the clinical usefulness in the management of MDR-TB.

(Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 2000, 14(3): 269-276)

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eISSN: 1021-6790