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Latent tb
Dec 31, 2009

Can a course of antibiotics actually completely kill the latent bacteria in the body, how does one know that latent tb is eradicated from the body, if that is possible at all. A researcher told me that tb cannot be eradicated from the body and as of today one can only prevent or cure active tb but after the cure of active tb one goes back in being a latent tb carrier. Could you tell what is really true here? Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question.

Think of treating "latent TB" as treating a very low level infection. We may not completely eradicate the bacteria but you can reduce the levels so that the immune system may be better able to deal with it and keep it in check. Treatment of latent TB greatly reduces the chance that a person will develop active overt TB disease.

Joe



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