To treat or not to treat: The case of tuberculosis

Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Zhilan Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 Scopus citations


Incomplete treatment of patients with infectious tuberculosis (TB) may not only lead to relapse but also to the development of antibiotic resistant TB - one of the most serious health problems facing society today. In this article, we formulate one-strain and two-strain TB models to determine possible mechanisms that may allow for the survival and spread of naturally resistant strains of TB as well as antibiotic-generated resistant strains of TB. Analysis of our models shows that non-antibiotic co-existence is possible but rare for naturally resistant strains while co-existence is almost the rule for strains that result from the lack of compliance with antibiotic treatment by TB infected individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-656
Number of pages28
JournalJournal Of Mathematical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Co-existence
  • Dynamical systems
  • Epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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