A faster, more reliable treatment for hot tub lung soon
may be available. Called Klearsen Respiratory Inhalation
Therapy, it may be the first nonantibiotic therapy
specifically to remedy the aquatic affliction
mycobacterium avium complex, or MAC.
?Based on the dramatic results we?ve
been getting, it?s hard to describe how important
the therapy?s impact will be,? said Steven
Frank, chief technical officer at Klearsen Corp. in
Symptoms of MAC include shortness of breath, fatigue,
wet cough, tightness in the chest and fever, according to
the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y. It is usually contracted
in moist environments such as hot tubs and indoor swimming
The new treatment is based on an antimicrobial compound,
KC-287. The compound is a liquid agent that is turned into
a fine mist and inhaled through a nebulizer, similar to a
nasal spray. The therapy coats the inside of the
patient?s lungs directly with the compound.
Lab results showed that KC-287 attenuated bacterial
loads five to 10 times faster than antibiotics. Recent
clinical trials also showed substantial improvement in
recovery times vs. antibiotic protocols.
Current antibiotic treatment requires a 12- to 16-month
regimen, Frank said. About one-third of all cases are never
fully cured. Clinical trials by Klearsen showed symptoms
were virtually eliminated within two months.
Population-based data from Houston and other
metropolitan areas suggests that one in 100,000 contract
MAC each year.
Though Klearsen?s therapy was patented several
years ago, the treatment is still seeking FDA approval and
may not be available to the public for a few years.