Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus), in the past also called phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, or consumption, is a widespread, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. Most infections do not have symptoms, known as latent tuberculosis. About one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.
- Relevant Occupations
- Infectious Disease Specialist
- Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Specialist
- Roughly one-third of the world's population has been infected with M. tuberculosis, with new infections occurring in about 1% of the population each year.However, most infections with M. tuberculosis do not cause TB disease, and 90–95% of infections remain asymptomatic. In 2012, an estimated 8.6 million chronic cases were active. In 2010, 8.8 million new cases of TB were diagnosed, and 1.20-1.45 million deaths occurred, most of these occurring in developing countries.
- Expected Prognosis
- Progression from TB infection to overt TB disease occurs when the bacilli overcome the immune system defenses and begin to multiply. In primary TB disease (some 1–5% of cases), this occurs soon after the initial infection. However, in the majority of cases, a latent infection occurs with no obvious symptoms. These dormant bacilli produce active tuberculosis in 5–10% of these latent cases, often many years after infection. The risk of reactivation increases with immunosuppression, such as that caused by infection with HIV. In people coinfected with M. tuberculosis and HIV, the risk of reactivation increases to 10% per year. Studies using DNA fingerprinting of M. tuberculosis strains have shown reinfection contributes more substantially to recurrent TB than previously thought, with estimates that it might account for more than 50% of reactivated cases in areas where TB is common. The chance of death from a case of tuberculosis is about 4% as of 2008, down from 8% in 1995.
- Possible Treatment
- Primary Prevention
- Bacillus Calmette-Guérin
- Typical Test
- Chest X-ray
- Sputum Cultures
Recently updated Healthcare Professionals
- Dr Terence Ting (Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Specialist)
- Dr Farzad Bashirzadeh (Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Specialist)
- Dr David Fielding (Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Specialist)
- Dr Garrick Don (Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Specialist)
- Dr Malcolm Ogborne (Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Specialist)
- Dr Kate Barclay (Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Specialist)