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People infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria that are
antibiotic-resistant need special treatment programs. People with a weakened
immune system are more likely to get drug-resistant
TB. These include people infected with HIV or people who have had an organ
Treatment usually involves at least four medicines.1
Some TB bacteria have become resistant to all of the antibiotics that are commonly used to treat TB. This is sometimes called totally resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB).2 A TB infection of this type is very difficult to treat.
American Thoracic Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infectious Diseases Society of America (2003). Treatment of tuberculosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 167(4): 603–662.
Cegielski P, et al. (2012). Challenges and controversies in defining totally drug-resistant tuberculosis. Emerging Infectious Diseases [Internet], November. Available online:
April 4, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
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