‘New standard of care’ for MERS reduces mortality in hospita
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A combination of interferon beta-1b and lopinavir-ritonavir reduced mortality in hospitalized patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome, according to results from a randomized clinical trial in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers conducted a randomized, adaptive, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that enrolled patients at nine sites in Saudi Arabia. Hospitalized adults with laboratory-confirmed MERS were randomly assigned to receive recombinant interferon beta-1b plus lopinavir–ritonavir (intervention) or placebo for 14 days.

Results:
-- A total of 95 patients were enrolled; 43 patients were assigned to the intervention group and 52 to the placebo group.

-- A total of 12 patients (28%) in the intervention group and 23 (44%) in the placebo group died by day 90.

-- The analysis of the primary outcome, with accounting for the adaptive design, yielded a risk difference of -19 percentage points.

-- In a prespecified subgroup analysis, treatment within 7 days after symptom onset led to lower 90-day mortality than use of placebo, whereas later treatment did not.

-- Serious adverse events occurred in 4 patients (9%) in the intervention group and in 10 (19%) in the placebo group.

Conclusively, A combination of recombinant interferon beta-1b and lopinavir–ritonavir led to lower mortality than placebo among patients who had been hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed MERS. The effect was greatest when treatment was started within 7 days after symptom onset.

Source; https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2015294?query=featured_home
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