TB can produce atypical signs and symptoms in infants, the elderly, and immunocompromised hosts, and it can progress rapidly in these patients.

Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) can lead to reactivation disease years after the primary infection occurred.

The patient suspected of having active TB disease must be isolated until the diagnosis is confirmed and he or she is no longer contagious. Often, isolation takes place in specialized "negative pressure" hospital rooms to prevent the spread of TB.

® Isoniazid and rifampin are the two most important TB drugs; organisms resistant to both these drugs (multidrug resistant tuberculosis [MDR-TB]) are much more difficult to treat.

© Never add only a single antituberculosis drug to a failing regimen for active TB!

© Directly observed therapy (DOT) should be used whenever possible to reduce treatment failures and the selection of drug-resistant isolates.

Worldwide, tuberculosis (TB) kills about 1.5 million people each year, more than any other infectious organism. TB is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it presents either as latent TB infection (LTBI) or as progressive active disease.1 The latter typically causes progressive destruction of the lungs, leading to death in most patients who do not receive treatment. Currently, one-third of the world's population is infected, and drug resistance is increasing in many areas.1

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