PET and CT scanning could show if TB treatment is effective

The medical imaging techniques, positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT), could help predict the effectiveness of antibiotic drug treatment for TB patients. Researchers at the US National Institutes of Health have shown how PET/CT imaging can demonstrate changes to tissue and organ functioning following antibiotic treatment, in both TB-infected monkeys and humans. Currently, cultures are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of treatment, however these tests are slow and often unreliable.

New tests for treatment effectiveness are needed urgently, to help halt the worldwide rise in multi drug-resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) caused by incomplete and ineffective TB treatment.

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