A breakthrough treatment for latent tuberculosis (TB) is now widely available in Canada, thanks in part to a study led by researchers in Ottawa and Nunavut. Previous studies have shown that the treatment, called 3HP, can eliminate latent TB with a weekly dose for 12 weeks, compared to the traditional drug, isoniazid, which requires daily dosing for nine months. The Taima TB 3HP study, which launched in 2016, was the first to evaluate 3HP in Canada. The study involved 247 participants and ended with Government of Canada making 3HP widely available by adding it to the list of drugs for urgent public health need. Results, infrastructure, and experience developed through the trial were immediately put to work to help with broader roll-out of 3HP in Nunavut, where it has now become the standard of care. “TB is at least 300 times more common among Inuit in Nunavut compared to the rest of the country,” said Taima TB founder Dr. Gonzalo Alvarez (pictured in Nunavut). “This new shorter treatment could make a big difference in preventing TB in the first place, by making it easier for people with latent TB to complete the therapy.” The results are published in the
International Journal of Circumpolar Health.