sputum smear

Directly observed treatment

DOTS redirects here. For the mathematical term, see Difference of two squares.

Directly observed treatment (DOT) or directly observed therapy is watching the patient take his/her medication to ensure medications are taken in the right combination and for the correct duration. It is used for diseases such as tuberculosis or HIV to assure compliance and avoid drug resistance.

Also, DOTS (directly observed treatment, short-course). The brand name given to the WHO-recommended TB control strategy that combines five components:

  • Government commitment
  • Case detection by sputum smear microscopy
  • Standardized treatment regimen with directly observed treatment for at least the first two months
  • A regular drug supply
  • A standardized recording and reporting system that allows assessment of treatment results

DOTS-PLUS is for multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).


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