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Can relapse of tuberculosis be treated?

Answered by: Dr. Anoop Misra
Professor, Department of Medicine,
AIIMS,
New Delhi

Q. I was diagnosed and treated for pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) seven years ago. I took all the medicine as prescribed for 9 months. A couple of weeks ago I had non specific urinary tract infection (UTI) and pain in my scrotum. The doctor suggested tests for TB. Blood and Sputum cultures were done and unfortunately sputum culture came out to be positive for AFB. Now they are doing further analysis to find out the specific strain of the mycobacterium. Right now, I am totally asymptomatic. Could this be a relapse of TB? In case if it is a MDR TB, is it 100% curable?

A.  Positive sputum culture is the most definitive test for tuberculosis. The diagnosis of relapse or resistance would be based on total clinical picture, examination findings, and laboratory tests. Any relapse is treatable. Multi drug resistant tuberculosis is treatable but would require more and stronger drugs.

A.  Positive sputum culture is the most definitive test for tuberculosis. The diagnosis of relapse or resistance would be based on total clinical picture, examination findings, and laboratory tests. Any relapse is treatable. Multi drug resistant tuberculosis is treatable but would require more and stronger drugs.

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