Adapting clofazimine for treatment of cutaneous tuberculosis by using self-double-emulsifying drug delivery systems

Daniélle van Staden, Richard K. Haynes, Joe M. Viljoen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


Although chemotherapeutic treatment regimens are currently available, and consider-able effort has been lavished on the development of new drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB), the disease remains deeply intractable and widespread. This is due not only to the nature of the life cycle and extraordinarily disseminated habitat of the causative pathogen, principally Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), in humans and the multi-drug resistance of Mtb to current drugs, but especially also to the difficulty of enabling universal treatment of individuals, immunocompromised or otherwise, in widely differing socio-economic environments. For the purpose of globally eliminating TB by 2035, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the “End-TB” initiative by employing interventions focusing on high impact, integrated and patient-centered approaches, such as individualized therapy. However, the extraordinary shortfall in stipulated aims, for example in actual treatment and in TB preventative treatments during the period 2018–2022, latterly and greatly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, means that even greater pressure is now placed on enhancing our scientific understanding of the disease, repurposing or repositioning old drugs and developing new drugs as well as evolving innovative treatment methods. In the specific context of multidrug resistant Mtb, it is furthermore noted that the incidence of extra-pulmonary TB (EPTB) has significantly increased. This review focusses on the potential of utilizing self-double-emulsifying drug delivery systems (SDEDDSs) as topical drug delivery systems for the dermal route of administration to aid in treatment of cutaneous TB (CTB) and other mycobacterial infections as a prelude to evaluating related systems for more effective treatment of CTB and other mycobacterial infections at large. As a starting point, we consider here the possibility of adapting the highly lipophilic riminophenazine clofazimine, with its potential for treatment of multi-drug resistant TB, for this purpose. Additionally, recently reported synergism achieved by adding clofazimine to first-line TB regimens signifies the need to consider clofazimine. Thus, the biological effects and pharmacology of clofazimine are reviewed. The potential of plant-based oils acting as emulsifiers, skin penetration enhancers as well as these materials behaving as anti-microbial components for transporting the incorporated drug are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number806
Number of pages25
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


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