The Causative Agent Of The Pulmonary Infection Tuberculosis ( Tb )

962 WordsNov 16, 20154 Pages
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is defined and characterized as a slow growing, acid-fast bacterium possessing a complex cell envelope. It is the causative agent of the pulmonary infection Tuberculosis (TB). Generally, M. tuberculosis infects the respiratory system but advanced disease can show other affected areas such as the skin, circulatory system, lymphatic system, central nervous system and gastrointestinal system (Kassim, 2004). Tuberculosis is the second leading cause of death due to infectious diseases next to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with 1.2 to 1.5 million deaths annually. M. tuberculosis infections occur globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one third of the world’s population becomes infected with M. tuberculosis every year. As reported by WHO in 2011, there were about 9 million newly reported cases of TB and 1.4 million deaths due to TB; TB linked HIV cases were reported to be about 430 000 (World Health Organization, 2012). TB coupled with HIV infection has become a leading cause of death for people suffering from HIV. HIV-positive patients are 20 to 40 times more prone to infection with this pathogen. Over the past ten years studies have revealed that five percent of the total TB cases are serious multi-drug resistant (MDR) infections. WHO reported an estimated 630 000 cases of MDR-TB in 2011, amongst a total of 12 million cases of TB worldwide (WHO, 2012). An airborne disease, the pathogen attacks the respiratory system and other
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