TB Vaccination & Treatment

Vaccination

An effective TB vaccine would be a major advance in the control of TB, but unfortunately there is no such vaccine at the present time. The BCG vaccine is used in some countries and while this is thought to offer some protection against TB infection in children its effected diminish with time so that it is considered to have limited benefits in adults.  Additionally, BCG vaccinated people may produce a positive tuberculin skin test (TST) result, even if they are not infected with TB.  This is a common cause of false positive TST results and can lead to unnecessary treatment for Latent TB Infection (LTBI).

Treatment

TB is usually curable with effective antibiotic drug treatment. Typically, a combination of 4 or more drugs over a period of at least 6 months is recommended to treat TB disease. Treatment of LTBI is broadly similar but often only one or two drugs are given.

Because of poor compliance to drug therapy for active disease, there has been an increase in TB strains that are resistant to antibiotics. The rise and spread of these resistant TB strains is causing great concern; infection with these strains may not be curable and is associated with much higher mortality rates compared to drug susceptible strains.