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• 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 typically attacks the lungs, but can also
affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the
• Tuberculosis has been present in humans since
antiquity at the latest. Skeletal remains show
prehistoric humans (4000 BC) had TB, and researchers
have found tubercular decay in the spines of Egyptian
mummies dating from 3000–2400 BC.
CAUSES (Mycobacteria)

• The main cause of TB is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a

small, aerobic, nonmotile bacillus.
• The high lipid content of this pathogen accounts for
many of its unique clinical characteristics. It divides
every 16 to 20 hours, which is an extremely slow rate
compared with other bacteria.
• Other known pathogenic mycobacteria include
M. leprae, M. avium, and M. kansasii.
CAUSES (Risk Factor)
• The most important risk factor globally is HIV; 13% of
all TB cases are infected by the virus.
• This is a particular problem in sub-Saharan Africa,
where rates of HIV are high.
• Tuberculosis is closely linked to both overcrowding and
malnutrition, making it one of the principal diseases of
• Those who smoke cigarettes have nearly twice the risk
of TB than non-smokers.
• Other disease states can also increase the risk of
developing tuberculosis, including alcoholism and
diabetes mellitus (threefold increase).
• TB patient develops small round lesions (tubercles)
• General signs and symptoms include fever, chills, night
sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue, and
significant finger clubbing may also occur.
• If a tuberculosis infection does become active, it most
commonly involves the lungs (in about 90% of cases).
Symptoms may include chest pain and a prolonged
cough producing sputum.
• The infection spreads outside the respiratory organs,
causing other kinds of TB.
• When people with active pulmonary TB cough, sneeze,
speak, sing, or spit, they expel infectious aerosol
droplets 0.5 to 5.0 µm in diameter.
• People with prolonged, frequent, or close contact with
people with TB are at particularly high risk of becoming
• If someone does become infected, it typically takes
three to four weeks before the newly infected person
becomes infectious enough to transmit the disease to
• The only currently available vaccine as of 2011 is
bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) which, while it is
effective against disseminated disease in childhood,
confers inconsistent protection against contracting
pulmonary TB.
Public health
• The World Health Organization declared TB a "global
health emergency" in 1993, and in 2006, the Stop TB
Partnership developed a Global Plan to Stop
Tuberculosis that aims to save 14 million lives between
its launch and 2015.