Opportunist mycobacterial infections localised to the chest may be treated with combinations of standard antimycobacterial drugs. The combination of rifampicin and ethambutol seems to be particularly effective, both in vivo and in vitro. In vitro sensitivity testing with single drugs may have a role in the future when the levels of in vitro resistance compatible with the clinical response to treatment are eventually established. Sensitivity testing against drugs in combination may prove useful for modifying treatment regimens in those patients who either fail to respond to initial chemotherapy or relapse. Further evidence on this will, it is hoped, emerge from the prospective studies currently in progress.
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