Tuberculosis Clinical Report

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Tuberculosis is a common pathogen, infecting nearly one-third of the world, that is spread by airborne droplets. These droplets are micro to the eye, but are prevalent, and can travel through the air by means of communication. Tuberculosis is typically known as a pathogen that affects the lungs, but in rare cases it can also affect other organs, such as the kidneys. There are two types of Tuberculosis someone may acquire: the infection, which is not contagious, and the disease, which is contagious. Both, however, can be harsh on the human body and sometimes consequently ends in fatal circumstances. According to WHO, almost 15 million people had the active form of Tuberculosis, which is the disease as "active" refers to active symptoms, which are not noticeable with just the infection, and about 1.7 million people died of the disease. "Those at a high risk of contracting the disease are children, the elderly, anyone with an immunodeficiency syndrome, poor nutrition, chronic alcohol and drug abuse, and anyone with deliberately suppressed immune systems due to receiving new organs" (Lerner 838-839).

The primary cause of Tuberculosis is with the bacterium called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, a rod-shaped bacteria that gets inhaled by the susceptible host via air droplets from forms of communication, spreads and travels to the immune system, and gets engulfed and is later on held within a tubercle to die, but some may survive and become dormant. Dormant Tuberculosis, also known as Latent Tuberculosis, has symptoms absent initially, meaning the host is not aware of these symptoms but can still be infected, but can later on become active and seriously damage the host by going from infection to disease, allowing for the symptoms to arise and the risk of being contagious to follow through..The spreading of Tuberculosis occurs when a host with the disease, not infection, coughs, sneezes, communicates, or does anything to put the pathogen into the air.

Signs and symptoms of active Tuberculosis include a feeling of tiredness, loss of weight, a fever typically occurring at night, body chills, and a persistent cough that can last up to weeks. The coughing may be so bad that it can dislodge and expel sputum that could potentially be tinged with blood as Tuberculosis damages the lining of the lungs; this can be seen with a chest x-ray.

There are multiple diagnostic tests in relation to Tuberculosis, with one of the most common being a chest x-ray to visualize the the lung infection. Mycobacterium Tuberculosis can also be detected by obtaining sputum samples and growing the organism under laboratory conditions, or by isolating protein components of the bacterium, which is typically a much faster method. Another diagnostic test typically used is a skin test. For the skin test, the physician injects the tuberculin protein from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis under the superficial skin, which will then look like there is a white pocket of solution within the arm, and if there is any swelling or redness after 48-72 hours after the initial injection, then that is a positive result that the patient has at least been exposed to the infection and may detect Latent Tuberculosis. Recently, however, "the FDA has approved the partial replacement of the skin test with the QuantiFERON-TB Gold test that detects the release of interferon-gamma from blood cells. The test is not widely available, though, as it requires a high budget" (Lerner 839).

The most effective medical treatment for Tuberculosis is antibiotics due to the slow growth of the bacteria, and the medication must be taken daily for up to six months in order to be effective. Temptations to stop taking the antibiotics start after a few weeks as the patient may begin to feel better, but in doing so they increase the chances of the bacteria re-growing and becoming resistant to the current antibiotics, resulting in new medication for the patient which may not be as effective/more difficult and will be more costly. "There is a Tuberculosis vaccine, which uses a live, weakened strain of the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis. BCG is still the only vaccine for tuberculosis, although researchers are continuing to investigate new vaccine candidates. The vaccine is not recommended for use in the United States by the CDC" (Lerner 839-840).

In conclusion, Tuberculosis is an airborne pathogen that can be in forms of either an infection or disease, is dependent on antibiotics in order for the symptoms to subdue, and can be detected with various diagnostic tests.

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Tuberculosis Clinical Report. (2019, Dec 30). Retrieved July 20, 2024 , from

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