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what is tuberculosis: Symptoms, Cause, Diagnosis, treatment, Types, mode of Transmission

 What is tuberculosis


 Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious disease. In mammals (Human and animals), it's affects majorly the respiratory system (lungs). TB can be know as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, mycobacterium is a bacterial species caused tuberculosis.

Mode of Transmission

  The bacterium that cause TB are proliferate from one person to another via very small droplets released into the air by an infected person through coughs and sneezes, spits, Laugh and Sings. It is therefore be classified as airborne disease.

  Tuberculosis once uncommon in developed countries, mycobacterium TB infections began increasing in 1985, mainly because of the emergence of HIV, A virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

   HIV "human immunodeficiency virus" causes damage to immune system so it can't fight the mycobacterium tuberculosis germs.

  Immune system are organs, tissue and cells help to protects the body from foreign diseases and pathogenic organisms by build up antibodies using white blood cell.

 In the U.S., due to stronge control programs of the infectious disease, mycobacterium TB began to drop again in 1993, but remains awareness.

  Many mycobacterium tuberculosis strains resist the medications used to treat the infectious disease. People with infected TB must take various forms of drugss for several days even months to exterminate the infectious disease and  prevent the body from antibiotic resistance.


   Although the body might critical harbor the bacteria species that cause tuberculosis, the immune system normally can surpass you from getting sick once the immune system strong enough to resist to foreign substance.

Types of Tuberculosis

   Generally, there are two types of mybacterium tuberculosis:

1. Inactive Tuberculosis

2. Active Tuberculosis

  Inactive Tuberculosis: In this state, people have a tuberculosis (TB) infection, but the bacteria species remains in the body in an inactive form and shows no sign nor symptoms. Inactive tuberculosis also called latent tuberculosis infection, in this condition, it is not contagious.

   It turn into active tuberculosis as the immune system getting weaker, early treatment is crucial for the people with active tuberculosis and to help control the spread of mycobacterium tuberculosis worldwide.

Active Tuberculosis: This is a chronic condition and can spread to others via droplets of sneezes. The symptoms can be obvious in the first few weeks after infection or might occur years later.

Signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis

Long time Cough

Coughing along with blood or hard Cough

Chest pain, or difficult breathing

Loss of appetite

Chronic weight loss



Frequent fever

Pale or waxy skin

Night sweats

Voice grows hoarse

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 Mycobacterium tuberculosis may as well affect other parts of the body especially kidneys, lungs spine or brain. When tuberculosis is active outside the lungs, symptoms vary base on the organs involved.

  For instance, mycobacterium tuberculosis of the lungs could give you respiratory problem, likewise TB in your kidneys might lead to blood in the urine.

When to see a doctor

  Immediately any of these symptoms are showing especially, frequent fever, unexpected weight loss, persistent dry cough. Note: these signs can also result from other medical problems. Doctor will perform rapid tests to help determine the medical problem.

  The following people are at higher risk of infected with tuberculosis

   1. People with HIV/AIDS

   2. IV medication users

   3. Those with weak immune system, they're at higher risk of infected with other medical problems mostly airborne diseases

   4. Health care workers if they're not properly protected.

Causes of Tuberculosis

  Tuberculosis is a infectious disease caused by bacterial species that spread from person to person via microscopic droplets defused into the air. This often happen when untreated people with active tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, e.t.c

HIV and Tuberculosis

  Since the 1980s, the rapid number of cases of mycobacterium tuberculosis has keep rises dramatically due to the spread of Human immuno deficiency virus (HIV), the virus that trigger AIDS. Infection with Human immuno deficiency virus depress the immune system, making it difficult for the body to build up antibodies against foreign substance. As a result, people with Human immuno deficiency virus (HIV) are likely to get infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis and other medical airborne diseases.

Drug resistance mycobacterium tuberculosis

  Another reason why mycobacterium tuberculosis remains one of the great significance killer is the rapid increase in drug-resistant strains of the bacterial species. i.e inability of medications to inhibit TB bacterium. 

  When the first antibiotics were used to fight mycobacterium TB some years ago, a few tuberculosis bacterial species have developed resistance to the most commonly used medications, Such as rifampin and isoniazid both are antibiotics drugs used for TB. 

  A few strains of tuberculosis bacterial have also developed resistance to medications less commonly antibiotics used in TB bacterium treatments, such as Fluoroquinolones, and some antibiotics medications taking through injection includes: capreomycin, kanamycin and amikacin.  These medications are usually used to treat some TB bacterium infections that are resistant to drugs.


  Anybody can be infected with tuberculosis, but there are some factors that can increase the risk of the disease. These factors include;

1. Weakened immune system

 Once the immune systems are strong enough, it  often successfully fights mycobacterium tuberculosis and other medical problems without taking medications but the body can not mount an effective defense if the resistance is low. The following are factors that can weaken the immune system;


2. Diabetes

3. kidney disease

4. Cancers

5. Some medications used to treat Rheumatoid arthritis,

6. Malnutrition

2. Traveling to a certain Region

  However, the risk of contracting mycobacterium tuberculosis is higher for people who travel to regions that have high cases of mycobacterium TB such as:





Sub-Sahara Africa

3. Poverty and substance abuse

 Inadequate medical care: It is important that every person should go for medical check-up at least once in a month. If you living in a remote area or homeless, you may lack access to medical attention.

Substance abuse: Drug use mostly hard drugs or alcohol abuse often weakens the immune system and makes you more vulnerable to diseases, especially airborne diseases.

Disease caused by Tuberculosis

1. Arthritis

2. Meningitis

3. Back pain

4. Heart disorder

5. Liver or kidney problem


During the physical check-up, doctor will check the  lymph nodes for swelling and also use a stethoscope to behear carefully to the sounds the respiratory system (lungs) make while you breathe.

 Blood tests

 Blood tests may be used to confirm the active or infective tuberculosis. These tests use an intellectual technology to measure your immune system's (immune system+mycobacterium species) reaction to tuberculosis (TB) bacteria. QuantiFERON-TB Gold in-Tube test and T-Spot. Tuberculosis test are two examples of mycobacterium tuberculosis blood tests.

Imaging tests

   If you have had a positive dermis test, the doctor is likely to recommend a chest X-ray or a CT scan.   


  The result may show white spots in the lungs where the immune system has been infected by active tuberculosis or the result may reveal changes in the lungs caused by active mycobacterium tuberculosis. But CT scans will provide more-wdetail images to X-rays.

Sputum tests

  If the chest X-ray shows symptoms of TB bacterium, the doctor may decide  to take samples of the sputum. Also the mucus from the cough.

Sputum samples can as well be used to determine drug-resistant strains of mycobacterium tuberculosis. This helps the doctor choose or recommend the kind of drugs that are most likely to work. These tests could take up to 4-8 weeks to be accomplish.


  Treating berculosis bacterial usually takes much longer up to 4-8 month to treating other bacterial infections. However, if bacterial is left untreated, it may increase the risk of getting; Gonorrhea, HIV, Chlamydia, STDs like herpes. e.t.c

  The medications using for the treatment of TB depends on the age, possible medication resistance, health status and the location in the body.

Most common mycobacterium tuberculosis drugs

  If you've an active tuberculosis, doctor may recommend just one type of tuberculosis medication. Active tuberculosis, particularly if it's a  But if the TB it's a drug-resistant strain, doctor may recommend several medications at once. 

The most common drugs used include;


Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)

Ethambutol (Myambutol)



Aminosalicylic acid

In the case of drug-resistant tuberculosis, a synergistic of antibiotics know as Fluoroquinolones and injections such as amikacin, kanamycin or capreomycin may be recommend.

  A number of new medications are being looking up to as additional therapy to the current drug-resistant Synergistic treatment including:






  Medication side effects

 There are possible side effects of TB drugs. Although chronic side effects of TB drugs are not common but could be dangerous when it arise. When taking any of these drugs or even other medications, seek your doctor immediately if you experience any of these following;

1. Nausea or vomiting

2. Dark urine

4. Loss of appetite

5. Jaundice

6. Fever that last 4-more days without know the cause.

Protective Foods

  For our bodies to be healthy, it require a balance of different nutritious foods each day.

Proteinous foods Such as;








Vitamin foods Such as;

Retinol (Vitamin A)= Eggs, palm oil, fresh vegetables, milk, liver.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)= Beans, Palm wine, yeast, milk. 

Riboflavin (vitamin B2)= Soyabeans, Beans, egg, green vegetables.

Niacin (vitamin B3)= yeast, milk, yam, beans, vegetables, palm wine.

Cynacobalamin (vitamin B12)= milk, kidney, fish, liver.

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) = Green vegetables and fruits e.g Orange

Calciferol (vitamin D)= Sunlight, fish, liver, egg, milk.

Ergosterol (vitamin E)= Liver, butter, egg, green vegetables.

Phylloquinone (vitamin K)= fresh vegetables.

Minerals such as;

Calcium= milk, fish, egg, cheese

Iron= eggs, liver, beans, kidney, vegetables

Potassium= fruits, and natural food

Copper= meat, green vegetables, milk, eggs

Manganese= meat, eggs, milk

Phosphorus= wheat, fish, milk, cheese

Sulphur= beans, fish, meat, eggs

Sodium= fish, fruits, table salt

Carbohydrates food such as








Fats and oils




Palm oil

Melon oil



Soyabeans oil.


Regular vaccination

Frequent medical check-up

Proper sanitation

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