Patients with active tuberculosis of the lungs, the infectious form of the disease known as pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), are typically treated with several medications for a period of six months. However, clinicians currently lack a definitive way to determine when antibiotics have effectively cured a patient of the disease. It has been known that the microbe that causes TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, can persist in the lungs even after patient tissue samples test negative for the bacteria. In new research appearing in Nature Medicine, intramural researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, together with NIAID grantees, found through the use of positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (PET/CT) scanning that TB lesions can remain in the lungs long after treatment with antibiotics has been completed. Read more.