Ending the global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic requires a focus on treating individuals with latent TB infection (LTBI) to prevent future cases. Promising trials of shorter regimens have shown them to be effective as preventative TB treatment, however there is a paucity of data on self-administered treatment completion rates. This pilot trial assessed treatment completion, adherence, safety and the feasibility of treating LTBI in the UK using a weekly rifapentine and isoniazid regimen versus daily rifampicin and isoniazid, both self-administered for 12 weeks.
An open label, randomised, multi-site pilot trial was conducted in London, UK, between March 2015 and January 2017. Adults between 16 and 65 years with LTBI at two TB clinics who were eligible for and agreed to preventative therapy were consented and randomised 1:1 to receive either a weekly combination of rifapentine/isoniazid (‘intervention’) or a daily combination of rifampicin/isoniazid (‘standard’), with both regimens taken for twelve weeks; treatment was self-administered in both arms. The primary outcome, completion of treatment, was self-reported, defined as taking more than 90% of prescribed doses and corroborated by pill counts and urine testing. Adverse events were recorded.
Fifty-two patients were successfully enrolled. In the intervention arm 21 of 27 patients completed treatment (77.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 57.7–91.4), compared with 19 of 25 (76.0%, CI 54.9–90.6) in the standard of care arm. There was a similar adverse effect profile between the two arms.
In this pilot trial, treatment completion was comparable between the weekly rifapentine/isoniazid and the daily rifampicin/isoniazid regimens. Additionally, the adverse event profile was similar between the two arms. We conclude that it is safe and feasible to undertake a fully powered trial to determine whether self-administered weekly treatment is superior/non-inferior compared to current treatment.