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J Korean Med Assoc. 2006 Sep;49(9):781-789. Korean. Original Article.
Shim TS .
Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Korea.

One-third of the world population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and tuberculosis (TB) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The prevalence of TB is still increasing worldwide, and the practical guidelines for the management of TB are necessary for both national TB programs (NTP) and privatesector medical professionals. However, the recommendations on how to approach the TB control are different according to the epidemiologic and economic conditions. Health care providers should understand the differences in the approaches used and the underlying reasons so as to be better qualified to treat TB. The guideline in the United States is a representative of those in high-income and low-incidence countries, whereas the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline usually targets the populations in low-income and high-incidence countries. South Korea has two guidelines each for NTP and private-sector medical professionals. The aim of this review is to compare the guidelines for TB management and to understand the differences and the underlying reasons. The guidelines of TB management are different across Korea, United States, and WHO. There are many issues to be solved in the Korean guidelines, which need an evidence-based update based on Korean data for both NTP and private-sector medical professionals.

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