Tuberculosis : The Ancient Bacteria

2341 Words10 Pages

Wanda Nhavilay
Professor W. Carlisle
Microbiology Biol 2230 S05
28 November 2015
Tuberculosis the ancient bacteria Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the oldest recorded human diseases known to man, and is still the deadliest killers among bacterial infections (Smith). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), TB is believed to have killed more people worldwide than all the wars and famines combined. TB once viewed as a death sentence in the past, is now a preventable and treatable disease. However, even though this is now a preventable and treatable disease TB continues to kill millions each year. Since the first anti-TB drugs were used to fight TB 60 years ago some TB bacteria have developed resistance to these drugs
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Not everyone infected with the TB bacteria become sick. The response to the infection depends on the circumstances of the host 's immune system, genetics and environmental factors. There are 2 forms of TB, latent Tb infection and latent TB disease. Latent TB infection is when the bacteria can live in the body without making the person sick. Most people who get infected can fight off the bacteria and keep it from multiplying. People with latent TB infection do not feel sick and are not contagious. However, once that person 's immune system becomes compromised the body is no longer able to fight the bacteria. The bacteria then begins to multiply and becomes active in the body. Once TB becomes active in the body and starts to multiply, latent TB is then converted into TB disease or active TB. As a result of the bacteria multiplying and taking over, people with TB disease feel sick and are contagious. Many people who have latent TB never develop TB disease. Some develop TB right away, others may convert from latent TB to TB disease, years later when the body is under stress from other factors such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV. Once a person is infected with TB, the chance of developing TB disease is higher if the person: has HIV, has recently been infected with TB within the last 2 years, has other healthcare problems such as diabetes, abuses alcohol or uses drugs, or was not treated properly in the past (CDC). Symptoms of
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