Prevention of Tuberculosis
Prevention of Tuberculosis:
Methods of prevention of Tuberculosis mentioned in various sources
includes those listed below.
This prevention information is gathered from various sources,
and may be inaccurate or incomplete.
None of these methods guarantee prevention of Tuberculosis.
- TB vaccine
- Bacillus Calmette-Guerin [BCG] vaccine - not as effective as it once was.
- Preventive therapy of household members
- Preventive therapy for latent TB infections
- Preventive therapy for at-risk people
- Isoniazid (INH) - can be used as a preventive medication or for those with latent TB.
- Rifampin - used preventively for INH-resistent TB strains
- Lung X-ray screening for early detection
Medications used to prevent Tuberculosis:
Some of the different medications in the possible prevention of Tuberculosis include:
Note:You must always seek professional medical advice about any treatment
or change in treatment plans.
Medical news about treatments for Tuberculosis
These medical news articles may be relevant to Tuberculosis treatment:
Unlabeled Research Medications in Prevention of Tuberculosis:
Unlabelled research alternatives may include:
Clinical Trials for Tuberculosis
Some of the clinical trials for Tuberculosis include:
Curable Types of Tuberculosis
Possibly curable or rare types of Tuberculosis include:
Rare Types of Tuberculosis:
Some rare types of Tuberculosis include:
Treatments for Tuberculosis
Treatments to consider for Tuberculosis may include:
Prevention of Tuberculosis:
Tuberculosis, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)
TB is largely a preventable disease. In the United States,
prevention has focused on identifying infected individuals early —
especially those who run the highest risk of developing active
disease — and treating them with drugs in a program of directly
INH prevents the disease in most people in close contact with
infected people or who are infected with the tubercle bacilli but
who do not have active TB. The drug is given daily for six to 12
months and strict patient compliance in taking medication is
essential to prevent drug-resistant strains from emerging. Adverse
reactions to INH are rare, although a small percentage of
patients, especially those older than 35, suffer INH-related
hepatitis. Rifampin for one year is recommended for close contacts
of patients with INH-resistant TB organisms.
In the United States, people with any of the following risk
factors should be considered for preventive therapy, regardless of
age, if they have not been previously treated for TB:
- Close contacts of people with newly diagnosed infectious TB;
(In addition, children and adolescents who react negatively to
the PPD test, but who have been in close contact with infectious
people within the past three months, should be considered for
preventive therapy. Therapy should continue until a second skin
test is done 12 weeks after their first contact with an
- People with positive tuberculin skin tests and abnormal
chest x-rays compatible with inactive TB (lesions caused by
- People whose skin test results have recently converted from
negative to positive;
- People with positive skin test reactions who also have
special medical conditions known to increase the risk of TB
(e.g., HIV infection, diabetes mellitus) or who are on
- HIV-positive people or those suspected to be HIV-infected
who now have, or had at any time in the past, positive skin test
reactions, but who do not have active infection; and
- Injection drug users who have positive skin test reactions.
In addition, people younger than 35 in the following groups
should be considered for preventive therapy if they have positive
skin test reactions:
- Foreign-born people from countries where TB is common;
- People in medically underserved, low-income groups,
especially African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans;
- Residents of long-term care facilities such as prisons,
nursing homes, and mental institutions.
Health care workers in frequent contact with TB patients or
involved with high-risk procedures such as those that induce
coughing should have a skin test every six months.
Hospitals and clinics caring for high-risk populations can take
precautions to prevent the spread of TB. All patients should be
taught to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing.
Ultraviolet light can be used to sterilize the air, and negative
pressure rooms and special filters are available, as are special
respirators and masks, that filter out the droplet nuclei. Until
they are no longer infectious, hospitalized TB patients should be
isolated in rooms with controlled ventilation and air
More Effective Vaccines are
In those parts of the world where the disease is common, a
vaccine composed of live, attenuated (weakened) mycobacteria from
cows (M. bovis, called bacillus Calmette-Guerin [BCG]) is
given to infants as part of the immunization program recommended
by the World Health Organization (WHO). In infants, BCG prevents
the spread of M. tuberculosis within the body, but does not
prevent initial infection.
In adults, the effectiveness of BCG has varied widely in
large-scale studies. In addition, positive skin test reactions
occur in people who have received BCG vaccine, thus limiting the
effectiveness of the PPD skin test to identify new infections. As
a result, BCG is not recommended for general use in the United
States. Because of BCG's limitations, more effective vaccines are
TB and HIV Infection
WHO estimates that 4.4 million people worldwide are coinfected
with TB and HIV. By the year 2000, TB will claim 1 million lives
annually among the HIV-infected, WHO projects, making TB the
leading cause of death in HIV-infected individuals. In the United
States, an estimated 100,000 HIV-infected people also carry M.
tuberculosis, according to CDC.
TB frequently occurs early in the course of HIV infection,
often months to years before other opportunistic infections such
as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. TB may be the first
indication that a person is HIV-infected, and often occurs in
areas outside the lungs, particularly in the later stages of HIV
In the United States, people coinfected with TB and HIV develop
active TB at a rate of about 8 percent each year. By
comparison, otherwise healthy individuals infected with M.
tuberculosis have a 10 percent lifetime risk of
developing active TB. People with HIV also are at greater risk of
having a new infection progress directly to active disease.
MDR-TB in people coinfected with HIV appears to have a more
rapid and deadly disease course than seen in patients with MDR-TB
who are otherwise healthy.
Diagnosing TB in HIV-infected people is often difficult. These
patients frequently have conditions that produce symptoms similar
to those of TB, and may not react to the standard tuberculin skin
test because their immune systems are suppressed. Although
investigators have hypothesized that a two-stage TB skin test
might be more reliable than a single-stage test in HIV-infected
individuals, a recently completed NIAID study found this not to be
X-rays, sputum smears, and physical exams may also fail to
provide an indication of TB infection in HIV-infected individuals.
As a consequence, doctors must often decide to begin anti-TB
therapy in HIV-infected people suspected of having active TB while
waiting for the results of cultures of sputum or other specimens.
NIAID Research Agenda for
NIAID, the lead institute for TB research at the National
Institutes of Health, supports more than 100 research projects
related to TB. In fiscal year 1999, NIAID will devote an estimated
$40 million to TB research.
NIAID has a comprehensive TB research agenda that supports the
- Studies of the epidemiology and natural history of TB.
- Basic research into the biology of TB and the host immune
response to M. tuberculosis.
- The development of new tools to diagnose TB.
- The development of new drugs or new ways to deliver standard
- Clinical trials of anti-TB therapies.
- The development of new vaccines to prevent TB.
- Training to increase the number of TB researchers.
- New ways to educate health care workers and the public about
This multi-disciplinary program draws on the Institute's
expertise in immunology and microbiology, as well as its
capabilities in drug and vaccine development honed as part of the
research effort in AIDS and other infectious
(Source: excerpt from Tuberculosis, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID
Tuberculosis: NWHIC (Excerpt)
The most important way to keep from spreading TB is to take all your
medicine, exactly as told by your doctor or nurse. You should also keep
all of your clinic appointments! Your doctor or nurse needs to see how you
are doing. You may need another chest x-ray or a test of the sputum you
may cough up. These tests will show whether the medicine is working. They
will also show whether you can still give TB bacteria to others. Be sure
to tell the doctor about anything you think is wrong.
If you are infectious while you are at home, there are
certain things you can do to protect yourself and others near you. Your
doctor may tell you to follow these guidelines to protect yourself and
The most important thing is to take your medicine.
Always cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough,
sneeze, or laugh. Put the tissue in a closed paper sack and throw it
Do not go to work or school. Separate yourself from others
and avoid close contact with anyone. Sleep in a bedroom away from other
Remember, TB is spread through the air. People cannot get infected with
TB bacteria through handshakes, sitting on toilet seats, or sharing dishes
and utensils with someone who has TB.
(Source: excerpt from Tuberculosis: NWHIC)
Prevention Claims: Tuberculosis
Information on prevention of Tuberculosis comes from many sources.
There are some sources that claim preventive benefits
for many different diseases for various products.
We may present such information
in the hope that it may be useful,
however, in some cases claims of Tuberculosis prevention may be
dubious, invalid, or not recognized in mainstream medicine.
Please discuss any treatment, discontinuation of treatment,
or change of treatment plans with your doctor
or professional medical specialist.