Paris — A new treatment for a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis (TB) can cure 80% of sufferers, according to a trial hailed Monday as a “game changer” in the fight against the global killer. Doctors in Belarus — a country with one of the highest rates of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB in the world — spent months treating patients with a new drug, bedaquiline, alongside other antibiotics. The results, seen exclusively by AFP, are startling: of the 181 patients given the new drug, 168 people completed the course and 144 were totally cured. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says currently only 55% of people with MDR TB are successfully treated. The Belarus trial cure rate — 80% — was largely replicated in bedaquiline trials in other countries in eastern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, according to abstracts seen by AFP, due to be unveiled at a major TB conference later this week. “The results from this study confirm ... that newer drugs such as bedaquiline can cure and are game...

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