Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A dysregulated host immune response significantly contributes to morbidity and mortality in tuberculous meningitis (TBM). Effective host directed therapies (HDTs) are critical to improve survival and clinical outcomes. Currently only one HDT, dexamethasone, is proven to improve mortality. However, there is no evidence dexamethasone reduces morbidity, how it reduces mortality is uncertain, and it has no proven benefit in HIV co-infected individuals. Further research on these aspects of its use, as well as alternative HDTs such as aspirin, thalidomide and other immunomodulatory drugs is needed. Based on new knowledge from pathogenesis studies, repurposed therapeutics which act upon small molecule drug targets may also have a role in TBM. Here we review existing literature investigating HDTs in TBM, and propose new rationale for the use of novel and repurposed drugs. We also discuss host variable responses and evidence to support a personalised approach to HDTs in TBM.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome open research

Publication Date





University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.


Tuberculous Meningitis International Research Consortium