Despite major advances in tuberculosis (TB) control, TB continues to be a leading cause of death worldwide. The discovery of new anti-TB treatment drugs and regimens that target drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB are being complemented with a search for adjunct host-directed therapies that synergize for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) elimination. The goal of host-directed therapies is to boost immune mechanisms that diminish excess inflammation to reduce lung tissue damage and limit Mtb growth. Metformin is the most commonly-used medication for type 2 diabetes, and a candidate for host-directed therapy for TB. Preliminary data suggests metformin may be beneficial for TB control by reducing the deleterious inflammation associated with immune pathology and enhancing the anti-mycobacterial activity of immune cells. In this review I summarize current findings, knowledge gaps and the potential benefits as well as points of caution for using metformin as adjunct therapy for TB in patients with and without type 2 diabetes.
Keywords: Diabetes; Host-directed therapy; Immunometabolism; Inflammation; Metformin; Tuberculosis.
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