Patients with highly drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis have limited treatment options and historically have had poor outcomes.
In an open-label, single-group study in which follow-up is ongoing at three South African sites, we investigated treatment with three oral drugs — bedaquiline, pretomanid, and linezolid — that have bactericidal activity against tuberculosis and to which there is little preexisting resistance. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the drug combination for 26 weeks in patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis that was not responsive to treatment or for which a second-line regimen had been discontinued because
of side effects. The primary end point was the incidence of an unfavorable outcome, defined as treatment failure (bacteriologic or clinical) or relapse during follow-up, which continued until 6 months after the end of treatment. Patients were classified as having a favorable outcome at 6 months if they had resolution of clinical disease, a negative culture status, and had not already been classified as having had an unfavorable outcome. Other efficacy end points and safety were also evaluated.