Tuberculosis: A Potentially Serious Infectious Bacterial Disease

Tanuja Bisht

, Treatments

Tuberculosis (TB) is a possibly serious infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bacterium that mainly affects the lungs. The tuberculosis bacteria spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air by sneezes and coughs.


Tuberculosis continues to be a major health problem across the world. In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that one-third of the world population was infected with TB bacteria.


With the spread of AIDS, TB continues to lay waste to large populations. The emergence of the drug-resistant organisms threatens to make this disease incurable. In 1993, the WHO declared this disease a global emergency.


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Tuberculosis: A Potentially Serious Infectious Bacterial Disease





People with tuberculosis must take several types of medications for many months to destroy the infection and to prevent the development of the antibiotic resistance.


Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that affects the lungs as compared with other diseases caused by a single infectious agent.




What are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis?


There are several signs and symptoms of the TB including;


  • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks



  • Coughing up blood


  • Pain with breathing or coughing




  • Sweating at night


  • Fatigue


  • Chills


  • Loss of appetite


Tuberculosis: A Potentially Serious Infectious Bacterial Disease





What are the Causes of Tuberculosis?


The cause of TB is an infection of human tissue(s) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. These bacteria are slow growing, aerobic and can grow in body cells (intracellular parasitic bacteria). Their cell wall helps that the body’s defenses to protect and are mycobacteria, the ability to retain certain dyes such as fuchsin (red) after acid rinsing that rarely occurs with other parasitic species of bacteria or fungi.


All cases of tuberculosis are transmitted from one person to another by the droplets. When a person sneezes, coughing or tubercular infection, thrown in tiny droplets of saliva or mucus in the air that can be inhaled by someone else.


Mycobacteria that escape destruction by defenses of the body are transmitted through the blood or lymphatic system to most organs, preferably to those that are well oxygenated such as lungs, kidneys, and bones.




How Tuberculosis is Diagnosed?

The disease can be diagnosed with the help of the following processes including;


Chest X-Ray: It is the most common diagnostic test that informs about the suspicion of infection in the chest.


Mantoux Skin Test [also called the tuberculin skin test (TST or PPD test)]: This test helps in identifying the people who are infected with M. tuberculosis but have no symptoms.


QuantiFERON-TB Gold Test: This is the blood test for diagnosing TB.


Sputum Testing: This testing is for acid-fast bacilli to confirms a TB diagnosis.


It may take one to three weeks to detect the bacterium growth in a culture, but eight to 12 weeks to be enough to assured of the diagnosis.


Tuberculosis: A Potentially Serious Infectious Bacterial Disease





What are the Risk Factors for Tuberculosis?


Although the disease is not easily spread and usually spread between people who are in close contact like they are working together or living together.


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There are many risk factors for developing the disease including;


  • Immigrants or visitors from areas known to have a high rate of the disease.


  • Children and the older people with weakened immune systems


  • Drug abusers


  • Patients with HIV infection




  • Transplant patients


  • Silicosis


  • Kidney disease patients


  • People undergoing immunosuppressive therapy




What are the Treatments for Tuberculosis?


The treatment for the disease depends on the type of its infection and drug sensitivity of the mycobacteria. The drugs are chosen by the doctor based on the patients’ overall health and type of disease that the patient was likely exposed to.


Treatment of multidrug-resistant and drug-resistant tuberculosis can be difficult. So patients with these types of infections are recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to involve infectious-disease specialists.


Tuberculosis: A Potentially Serious Infectious Bacterial Disease





What are the Home Remedies for Tuberculosis?


Weel, medications or drugs are needed for the treatment. Any home remedy will not treat this disease but may help in the reduction of symptoms. Home remedies may include pineapple, Indian gooseberry, milk, bananas, and many others. But patients should discuss these home remedies with their doctors before using it.






Tuberculosis is a serious infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bacterium that affects the lungs. The disease is not hard to cure but only if when you know the actual cause of it and take proper treatment.


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