Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Mar ;92S:S91-S99. Epub 2020 Feb 27. PMID: 32114204
New perspectives on difficult-to-treat tuberculosis based on old therapeutic approaches.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an important clinical and public health issue worldwide. Despite improved treatment success rates following the introduction of antibiotics in daily clinical practice, the expected decline in incidence has been hampered by HIV epidemics and multi- and extensively drug-resistant TB. During the pre-antibiotic era, TB therapies were mainly based on improving hygiene conditions, strengthening the immune system, and targeting the rest of the affected lungs with invasive techniques. Detailed knowledge of old non-pharmacological therapies might support physicians and researchers in the identification of new solutions for difficult-to-treat patients. We performed a narrative literature review on the main old therapeutic options prescribed for patients with TB. The main recommendations and contraindications of sanatorium therapies (i.e., bed rest, fresh air, sunlight) and pulmonary collapse techniques are reviewed, evaluating their physiological basis and their impact on patient outcomes. We report studies describing new interventional pulmonary and surgical techniques and assess new perspectives based on old medical and surgical treatments, whose potential implementation could help complicated patients.