Tuberculosis

Elucidating the origin of MDR tuberculosis strains

A study has focused on the evolutionary history of the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis, and more specifically on the Beijing lineage associated with the spread of multidrug resistant forms of the disease in Eurasia. ...

Jan 29, 2015
popularity12 comments 0

Sequencing tuberculosis strain genomes

(Medical Xpress)—The use of whole genome sequencing to identify different strains of bacteria which cause tuberculosis may unlock the door to improved treatments and more accurate clinical trials, according to a new international ...

Dec 06, 2013
popularity0 comments 0

Team finds key to tuberculosis resistance

The cascade of events leading to bacterial infection and the immune response is mostly understood. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the immune response to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis have remained a ...

Mar 02, 2015
popularity16 comments 0

Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus) is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active MTB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit their saliva through the air. Most infections in humans result in an asymptomatic, latent infection, and about one in ten latent infections eventually progress to active disease, which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those infected.

The classic symptoms are a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss (the last giving rise to the formerly prevalent colloquial term "consumption"). Infection of other organs causes a wide range of symptoms. Diagnosis relies on radiology (commonly chest X-rays), a tuberculin skin test, blood tests, as well as microscopic examination and microbiological culture of bodily fluids. Treatment is difficult and requires long courses of multiple antibiotics. Social contacts are also screened and treated if necessary. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in (extensively) multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. Prevention relies on screening programs and vaccination, usually with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.

One third of the world's population is thought to have been infected with M. tuberculosis, and new infections occur at a rate of about one per second. In 2007 there were an estimated 13.7 million chronic active cases, and in 2010 8.8 million new cases, and 1.45 million deaths, mostly in developing countries. The absolute number of tuberculosis cases has been decreasing since 2006 and new cases since 2002. In addition, more people in the developing world contract tuberculosis because their immune systems are more likely to be compromised due to higher rates of AIDS. The distribution of tuberculosis is not uniform across the globe; about 80% of the population in many Asian and African countries test positive in tuberculin tests, while only 5–10% of the U.S. population test positive.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

The neuroscience of seeking company

Social animals are strongly motived to seek out the company of others, especially after periods of isolation, because their brains are wired to find it rewarding. A study in mice published February 11 in Cell now reveals ...

Why smiles (and frowns) are contagious

Smile! It makes everyone in the room feel better because they, consciously or unconsciously, are smiling with you. Growing evidence shows that an instinct for facial mimicry allows us to empathize with and even experience ...

'Grit' adds little to prediction of academic achievement

Personality characteristics - especially conscientiousness - have previously been shown to have a significant but moderate influence on academic achievement. However, a new study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology ...