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Selena Felix Period 4

Step By Step
When a person becomes infected with tuberculosis (TB), the bacteria in the lungs multiply causing pneumonia; the patient experiences chest pain and has a persistent cough which often brings up blood. Lymph nodes near the heart and lungs become enlarged. As the bacteria try to spread to other parts of the body they are interrupted by the bodies immune system. The immune system forms scar tissues around the bacterium, which helps fight the infection and prevents it from spreading within the body and to other people. If the bacteria manage to break through the scar tissue the disease returns to an active state; pneumonia develops and there is damage to kidneys, bones, and the meninges that line the spinal cord and brain.

Latent or Active
Latent TB- The bacteria are inactive but present in the body. The patient has no symptoms and is not contagious.

Active TB- The bacteria are active and make the patient ill. active TB is contagious.

The primary stage of tuberculosis does not cause symptoms. When symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis occur, they can

Cough (usually with mucus) Coughing up blood Excessive sweating, especially at night Fatigue Fever Weight loss Breathing difficulty Chest pain Wheezing

Signs and Tests

The doctor or nurse will perform a physical exam. This may show:

Clubbing of the fingers or toes (in people with advanced disease) Swollen or tender lymph nodes in the neck or other areas Fluid around a lung (pleural effusion) Unusual breath sounds (crackles)

Tests may include:

Biopsy of the affected tissue (rare) Chest CT scan Chest x-ray Interferon-gamma release blood test such as the QFT-Gold test to test for TB infection Sputum examination and cultures Thoracentesis Tuberculin skin test (also called a PPD test)

Current Research
Research Goals
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) supports research in the following areas to improve tuberculosis diagnosis, control, and prevention.

Basic Research
NIAID supports basic research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, and seeks to understand how the bacterium causes disease in humans. By developing animal models for tuberculosis, the Institute is accelerating efforts to evaluate candidate drugs and vaccines and to improve tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. NIAID also supports research to assess what factors influence the occurrence, distribution, and transmission of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains of Mtb.


You can get tuberculosis by breathing in air droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person. The resulting lung infection is called primary tuberculosis.

Most people recover from primary tuberculosis infection without further evidence of the disease. The infection may stay inactive (dormant) for years. However, in some people it can reactivate. Most people who develop symptoms of a tuberculosis infection first became infected in the past. In some cases, the disease becomes active within weeks after the primary infection.


About one third of the worlds population is infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria A person living with HIV is about 20 to 30 times more likely to develop active TB A total of 1.3 million people died from TB in 2012 TB is the leading killer of people living with HIV

Risk Factors
The following persons are at high risk of active tuberculosis:

Elderly Infants People with weakened immune systems, for example due to AIDs, chemotherapy, diabetes, or medicines that weaken the immune system

Your risk of catching tuberculosis increases if you:

Are around people who have tuberculosis Live in crowded or unclean living conditions Have poor nutrition

The following factors may increase the rate of tuberculosis infection in a population: Increase in HIV infections

Increase in number of homeless people (poor environment and nutrition)

The goal of treatment is to cure the infection with drugs that fight the TB bacteria. Commonly used drugs include:

Isoniazid Rifampin Pyrazinamide Ethambutol

When people do not take their TB medications as instructed, the infection can become much more difficult to treat. The TB bacteria can become resistant to treatment. This means the drugs no longer work.

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