What is tuberculosis?

 X-ray of a person suffering from tuberculosis

Under TB experts understand infectious disease that is caused by the tubercle bacillus (Koch's bacillus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis), accompanied by the formation of granulomas in various organs and the development of cell allergies. The most frequently detected in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, joints, bones, skin and urogenital organs. All these forms of tuberculosis requires emergency treatment, since, otherwise, the disease progresses to death.

The first serious studies of tuberculosis have been carried out in 1882 by Robert Koch. German scientist studying tuberculosis, symptoms properties of pathogens. He proved the infectious nature of the disease and found that the TB germs are very tenacious. They are stored in the snow, in the ground, feel great at low and high temperatures. In part, that is why doctors are experiencing enormous difficulties in the treatment of tuberculosis, and often can not completely save people from this dangerous disease.

The causative agent of tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Koch's bacillus) are widely distributed in the environment. They are very tenacious, well resist the corrosive factors and do not break even with the use of modern disinfectants. The family of mycobacteria include many varieties of germs. Some of them can parasitize only in the human body, while others - excellent feel in birds and cattle.

How is the transmission of the infection?

From person to person Tuberculosis is transmitted by droplet infection, that is, you can get infected even without direct contact with the patient, and just being with him in the same room. In some cases, infection occurs through food and other items that are infected with Koch's bacillus. If the TB germs are in the diet, the tuberculosis in children and adults affects the gastrointestinal tract, and is not easy, as it occurs by inhalation of contaminated air.

Maximum care should be people who have frequent contact with patients and have increased susceptibility to pathogens. Regular prevention of tuberculosis is needed:

  • schoolchildren, students and other persons who may be in close contact with infected people;
  • prisoners and prison staff;
  • people who abuse drugs and alcohol;
  • health workers;
  • patients with diabetes and HIV infection;
  • people whose immune systems are weakened by serious illness or long-term administration of any potent drugs.


Today, there are quite a few options the classification of the infection. Each of them is based on a particular characteristic feature of tuberculosis. In his article, we will introduce you to the classification, which builds on the organ system that affects the tubercle bacillus.

Pulmonary tuberculosis - an infectious process develops directly into the human lung. This form is the most common in modern society, since pathogens are easily transmitted to healthy people by droplets. Note also that with the blood and lymph coli can invade other organs and systems.

Tuberculosis of the intestine - is characterized by disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract. The most susceptible to infection by intestinal wall and mesentery. Pathogen ingested food contaminated with, for example, frequent use of dairy products. Symptoms of tuberculosis of guts are similar to the symptoms of many other pathologies, which adversely affects the timely correct diagnosis and the start of treatment.

Tuberculosis of bones and joints - a fairly common form of infection that affects the vertebrae and long bones of legs and thighs. As a rule, in the diagnosis of bone tuberculosis treatment involves a comprehensive approach and a thorough examination of other organs. This is due to the fact that this form is usually caused by the spread of infection from other parts of the body, for example, from the lungs.

Tuberculosis of the genitourinary system - a devastating effect sticks Koch experiencing the bladder, ureters and kidneys. In the absence of adequate treatment bodies are deformed, which leads to numerous complications, difficulties with excretion of urine and other serious pathologies.

Besides these organs and systems, tubercle bacillus can infect the prostate gland, testes, the fallopian tubes, the meninges, nerves and skin. Note also that all forms of tuberculosis are very dangerous, so if in any doubt about the presence of infection, you should immediately see a doctor and undergo a comprehensive examination of the body.

Tuberculosis - symptoms and clinical picture

Since the most common to date form of infection is tuberculosis (diagnosed in 60-70% of cases), we will consider in detail the symptoms of TB is the variety, the more that they are typical of other types of the disease. So, patients experience the following symptoms of tuberculosis:

  • sudden weight loss, pallor of the skin, a significant change in appearance;
  • weakness, excessive fatigue, decreased performance;
  • dry cough, which is particularly strong in the night and morning hours. With the development of tuberculosis cough becomes wet and is accompanied by sputum;
  • fever - usually the temperature does not rise to critical levels, and stops at 37, 5-38 degrees. Please note that the diagnosis of tuberculosis symptoms are severe in the evening or at night. This feature allows you to separate them from the symptoms of other diseases of the respiratory tract that is not accompanied by a jump in temperature and are typically characterized by higher values ​​of this parameter.
  • hemoptysis - one of the main symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis. In most cases, hemoptysis immediately follows the coughing fit. Blood stands out a bit, but the process is very dangerous because it can at any moment lead to the development of pulmonary hemorrhage and subsequent death.

Defeats other organs accompanied by signs, which at first glance indistinguishable from the symptoms of other common diseases, so in this article to consider them meaningless. Suffice it to say that in any suspected tuberculosis treatment should begin as soon as possible. Its success depends on timely diagnosis, and this is the best argument in favor of time to see a doctor if you experience any discomfort or pain.

Tuberculosis in children

In childhood tuberculosis develops a little differently than in adults. This is due to an underdeveloped immune system of the child. TB progresses faster and leads to the most tragic consequences. At risk are children who are malnourished are often overworked, living in unsanitary conditions and suffer from lack of vitamins. Particular attention should be paid to parents fatigue, decreased attention, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Treatment of tuberculosis

 Tablets for the treatment of tuberculosis

If TB has been identified in the early stages, it is almost always treatable. The course of therapy should be continuous, and at the same time it uses several anti-TB drugs. The patient takes 4-5 daily medications for at least 6 months. Through this approach it is possible to achieve the most effective results, because different active ingredients have different effects on the tubercle bacillus, which allows to destroy the pathogen is extremely hardy. The drugs of choice for tuberculosis are streptomycin, pyrazinamide, rimfapitsin, isoniazid, ethambutol, and others.

In the treatment of tuberculosis, except for specific medications, patients are assigned and restorative treatments - breathing exercises, immunotherapy, physiotherapy. When the diagnosis of tuberculosis treatment should only be carried out with the assistance of an experienced professional, since the wrong actions can lead to the rapid progression of the disease and irreparable consequences.

Prevention of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis prevention involves the use of social factors, as well as carrying out specific works. The social component of effective prevention of TB include:

  • improving the quality of life of the population;
  • prevention of occupational lung diseases;
  • improvement of ecological situation in the major cities;
  • the rejection of fast food and go to the right nutritious food;
  • the fight against drug addiction, alcoholism and smoking;
  • expanding the network of spa facilities.

Specific prevention of tuberculosis is based on vaccination and regular x-ray screenings. The latter allow time to identify pulmonary tuberculosis and begin treatment in the early stages, reducing the likelihood of death. More frequent examinations apply to persons who are permanently in contact with sick people.