From San Francisco, at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
An antibiotic typically used to fight sinus infections and pneumonia shows remarkable potency against leprosy.
In a study of leprosy patients in the Philippines, Robert H. Gelber, a physician at the University of California, San Francisco and his team treated 10 men with oral moxifloxacin daily for 2 months, followed by standard drugs for leprosy. Within 2 weeks of the moxifloxacin therapy, skin lesions on the men were clearing up. Skin biopsies showed that in all 10 patients, Mycobacterium leprae—the microbe that causes the disease—was undetectable within a week or two.
"In my 40 years of treating leprosy, I've never seen anything like this," Gelber says.