Conventional care

In many industrialized countries, preventative measures are taken against tuberculosis in the form of inoculation of all children by the age of 13 with a live strain of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis in cattle. This is too weak to cause the disease in humans, yet it stimulates the immune system. Diagnosis of tuberculosis is by a primary test followed by a chest X-ray if the test is positive. The most common treatment is with three drugs—usually isoniazid, rifampicin, and pyrazinamide—taken over a long period. There is concern in some regions of the world that the disease has become resistant to these drugs. Other, shorter treatment regimens are therefore being tried.

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