Tuberculosis Causes, Consequences, Symptoms and Treatment
The cause of tuberculosis is Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium. Diagnosis, treatment and prevention will minimize the effects, consequences and contagion.
The tuberculosis is usually associated with the lungs, but can affect other organs of the body such as the kidneys, lymph nodes, joints and also cause meningitis. While tuberculosis had long ceased to be a medical problem of the first order, with the onset of AIDS, infectious disease again requires special attention.
Indeed, immune compromised patients are especially susceptible to attack by the Koch bacillus, name given in honor of its discoverer, the German Nobel laureate Robert Koch. As a curious note is the estimate that talks about one third of the world population infected by this bacterium. It is undoubtedly infectious disease with a higher rate of prevalence, but yes, only 10% go on to develops the disease. The immune system, in normal conditions, is effective in slowing the progression of the disease, but when lowered defenses alarming levels, as in the case of AIDS, then the problem becomes.
TB vaccines: BCG
The TB vaccine, known as BCG vaccine - was created from live attenuated bacilli of Mycobacterium bovis, known as Bacillus Calmette-Guerin. Vaccination of newborns abandoned in Spain for over 30 years, with the exception of the Basque Country, where he still remains.
The systematic application of the vaccine is recommended in the following cases:
Developing countries have with high prevalence rates of tuberculosis.
Children who are living in that areas or social groups have high risk of infection.
Children in developed countries that constitute risk groups and not apply other prevention strategies.
Health workers are frequently contact with tuberculosis patients.
The BCG vaccine is contraindicated in some cases:
Congenital or acquired immunodeficiency.
Previously infected individuals, have developed or no disease (positive tuberculin test).
Symptoms and diagnosis of tuberculosis
The most common manifestation of the disease is pulmonary tuberculosis. This is transmitted through coughing, sneezing and, in general, and prolonged close contact with the infected.
The symptoms most commonly associated with tuberculosis are chills and night sweats, cough, loss of appetite, chest pain, malaise and considerable weight loss. The symptoms are similar to pneumonia, but while this has a faster development-a few days or even hours-TB is a process that takes weeks.
The diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis is performed from the clinical history, chest radiography and sputum, which identifies the culprit: Koch's bacillus.
In cases of infections that affect the lungs, which often occur after lung infections or asymptomatic infections, there is a persistent fever with significant weight loss without an identifiable cause.
Treatment of tuberculosis
Drug treatment is started in 1944, with the emergence of streptomycin and para-aminosalicylic acid. Later, in 1950, would prove that a combination therapy of two antimicrobial agents was more effective than initial immunotherapy. Two years later, a new drug isoniazid, which is added to the combination and improves? In 1960 ethambutol therapy also includes reducing the duration of treatment to 18 months. In the seventies rifampicin becomes part of the combination treatment reduced by half. And in 1980 is included in the treatment pyrazinamide, again reducing treatment, in this case to 6 months.
Antituberculostaticos drugs are classified into two groups according to their efficacy, potency and side effects. Which are known as first-line drugs mentioned in the previous paragraph. The second-line drugs such as ethionamide, cycloserine or ciprofloxacin, are used in cases of resistant tuberculosis or when intended to avoid the side effects of first-line drugs.