Cobit, Tuberculosis


Tuberculosis (TB) was revealed to be infectious in 1865 and the bacteria that cause the disease were acknowledged in 1882. Even supposing the bacteria and means of extend were recognized, a drug that could eradicate the bacteria was not discovered until 1943. In the interim, infected persons, who were able to come up with the money for the cost, were sent to sanatoriums and rest homes as treatment. With the breakthrough of streptomycin in 1943 and two other drugs effectual against the TB bacteria by 1952, the cure rate significantly increased and the death rate considerably decreased (Tuberculosis 2007: From Basic Science to Patient Care, 2007).

TB is a continual bacterial contagion caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that grows best in areas of the body that have lots of blood and oxygen. It multiplies through the air when a person with the disease coughs or sneezes. A person may build up contagion of TB when they draw in the air droplets from the person who's sick with the ailment. The disease more often than not contaminates the lungs but can infect other parts of the body counting the spine, brain or kidney. Treatment is often a success but usually takes a long process of about six to nine months of treatment.

Tuberculosis can be considered as either latent that means that you have the TB bacteria in your body, but your body's immune system fight the infection and try to keep it from turning into active TB and you don't have any symptoms of TB right now and can't spread the disease to others. It can also be considered as active that means that the TB bacteria are growing and causing symptoms. If your lungs are infected with active TB, it is easy to spread the disease to others. It is an old disease and has been identified by a lot of names including consumption, wasting disease, and white plague.


Tubercle bacilli at the start produce a primary infection, followed by a latent or dormant phase and, in some cases, by dynamic disease. Infectivity is not transmissible in the primary and latent phases ( place when individuals breathe in bacteria that where cough out by infected persons. The organism is deliberate on the increase and puts up with the intracellular setting, where it may wait metabolically static for years before reactivation and infection. The most important determinant of the pathogenicity of tuberculosis is its capacity to break away from host defense mechanisms, including macrophages and delayed hypersensitivity responses.

Humans are the solitary known reservoir for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and TB is transmitted by airborne droplet nuclei. TB exposure occurs by sharing common airspace with an individual who is in the infectious stage of TB and when inhaled, droplet nuclei are deposited inside the terminal airspaces of the lung. Upon encountering the bacilli, macrophages consume and transfer the bacteria to regional lymph nodes and these bacilli may be killed by the immune system, may proliferate and cause primary TB, may turn out to be dormant and remain asymptomatic, or may reproduce after a latency period.

From then on, transportation of the infected macrophages to the regional lymph nodes takes place. Lymphohematogenous spreading of the mycobacteria to other lymph nodes, the kidney, epiphyses of long bones, vertebral bodies, juxtaependymal meninges nearby to the subarachnoid space, and, occasionally, to the apical posterior areas of the lungs. In addition, chemotactic causes released by the macrophages create a center of attention to circulating monocytes to the location of infection, leading to delineation of the monocytes into macrophages and ingestion of free bacilli. Logarithmic reproduction of the mycobacteria arises within the macrophage at the primary site of infectivity.


Tuberculosis is diagnosed by a consideration of clinical presentation, tuberculin skin test using the Mantoux procedure, radiographic examination, bacteriology, direct staining and culture of sputum or other specimens for the presence of M. tuberculosis, molecular amplification and gene probes assist in rapid diagnosis. Definitive diagnosis of TB rests on isolation of M. tuberculosis from sputum, urine, biopsy material, CSF or other clinical specimens. A negative sputum test does not rule out a diagnosis of TB. Recovery and identification of mycobacteria from specimens has become more rapid with test procedures such as liquid medium systems and DNA probes (Communicable Diseases Section, Victorian Government Department of Human Services, 2005).

Tuberculin skin test (Mantoux test) which is a not detrimental test used to become aware of whether or not the TB germs are in the body. In some cases, you may be asked to have this analysis repeated at a later date. A chest x-ray is indispensable for excluding the existence of TB in the chest. It may also be essential to have follow-up chest x-rays at intervals for some three years following contact.

The most extensively used procedure for diagnosing tuberculosis is no more complicated than examining a suspected patient. Having a sputum sample under a microscope is one way to evaluate whether it contains TB mycobacteria. Even though this means diagnosis is not expensive and achievable even in isolated areas provided you have trained staff, there are serious limitations connected with this technique, as many people with active TB will not have adequate TB mycobacteria in their sputum, or indeed will have none at all. This is factual for patients suffering from extra-pulmonary TB and for patients co-infected with HIV.

Microscopy is also of incomplete use for becoming aware of TB in children, because they often do not bring into being sufficient amount sputum to make a reliable sample. Even in the best of hands, microscopy will only detect around half of all TB cases. A different technique, identified as culture, consists of incubating a sputum sample over a few weeks to observe whether it contains live TB mycobacteria. Although this is a more responsive process when performed correctly, it is unfortunately slow, as you need to pass the time at least around three weeks, and every now and then up to eight weeks, to be certain no mycobacteria are there. It is also logistically easier said than done, requiring incubators, an uninterrupted power supply, and skilled staff.

More present methods such as those relying on DNA tests, for instance, are excessively sophisticated to be used in poor settings, in particular where tuberculosis takes its heaviest toll. What we need is a straightforward test that tells you when you have active TB, which gives way results more or less instantaneously and can be used by any nurse or health worker even when far away from a laboratory. Until we have an uncomplicated dependable test, many TB patients will keep falling through the net and die untreated.

The need for a suitable diagnostic tool is all the more pressing considering tuberculosis is for the most part a curable disease. TB is treated with a combination of antibiotic drugs which were developed over 35 years ago. At around U.S.$15 to 20 per patient, the treatment course is cheap. To prevent the emergence of any resistance, the drugs should be taken in combination. It is therefore recommended that TB drugs are produced in fixed-dose combinations or different drugs combined in a single pill.


Most people with TB can recover if given appropriate medication for a sufficient length of time. Lowering the number of bacilli as quickly as possible, this measure minimizes the risk of transmitting the disease. When sputum cultures become negative, this has been achieved. Conversely, if the sputum cultures remain positive after five to six months, treatment has failed (Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, 2009).

In the past, treatment of TB was primarily supportive. People being treated for TB were kept in isolation, encouraged to rest, and be fed well. If these measures failed, their affected lungs were collapsed surgically so that they could rest and heal. Today, surgical procedures are still used when necessary, but contemporary medicine relies on drug therapy as the mainstay of home care. Given an effective combination of drugs, individuals with TB can be treated at home as well as in a sanitorium. Treatment at home does not pose the risk of infecting other household members. Treatment has got to be continued until all the mycobacteria are dead, which takes six months at the least. The patient have got to be encouraged to stick to the treatment in anticipation of its completion, and not dispose of the course as soon as the symptoms fade, which might be as almost immediately as two weeks after the start of the treatment.

The currently recommended directly observed therapy, where the patient is supervised taking his or her medication by a health care worker or a community volunteer, places considerable strain on patients who sometimes have to travel several kilometers every day for several months to a health centre in order to receive treatment. Other approaches exist: encouraging a patient's responsibility and involvement in their treatment through education and counseling, and creating an adequate therapeutic environment. These more flexible approaches haveā€¦