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Tuberculosis (TB). Matt Boward. Mycobacterium Tuberculosis/ Bovis. TB is caused by two bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis . Live inside human cells, particularly the lungs.

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Tuberculosis tb

Tuberculosis (TB)

Matt Boward

Mycobacterium tuberculosis bovis
Mycobacterium Tuberculosis/Bovis

  • TB is caused by two bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis.

  • Live inside human cells, particularly the lungs.

  • It is estimated that 30% of the world’s population is infected with TB without showing any symptoms.

  • The bacteria can later become active when people are weakened by other diseases, suffer from malnutrition, or become infected with HIV.

Tb caused by m tuberculosis
TB caused by M. Tuberculosis

  • Airborne droplets

  • Ex: People that are infected with TB cough and sneeze, the bacteria are carried in the air in tiny droplets of liquid. The droplets are then inhaled by uninfected people.

Tb caused by m bovis
TB caused by M. Bovis

  • TB caused by M. Bovis also occurs in cattle and is spread to people in meat and milk.

  • Although this form of transmission is not as common in developed countries, it still remains a source of infection in some developing countries.

Tb in the 1940s
TB in the 1940s

  • TB was practically eradicated in the 1940s due to the inception of the antibiotic streptomycin; which hastened the decrease in the incidences of the disease.


  • TB is now resurging (returning) due to:

  • Some strains of TB bacteria are resistant to drugs

  • Poor housing in inner cities in the developed world and rising homelessness

  • Migration from Eastern Europe and developing countries to large cities such as London and New York.


  • The identification of the TB bacteria can be done very quickly by microscopy, which tests samples of the sputum (mucus and pus) from the infected individual’s lungs.

  • If TB is confirmed, then sufferers should be isolated while they are in the most infectious stage (which is two to four weeks).

  • X-ray

Those infected with tb
Those infected with TB

  • Those who have the active form of TB suffer from debilitating illness for a long time.

  • They usually have a persistent cough and, due to cells releasing hormone like compounds, have fevers and suppress their appetite.

  • As a result, sufferers lose weight and often look emaciated (thin).

  • TB is often found in HIV-positive people, because it may reactivate the dormant infection of M. Tuberculosis.

  • TB is the leading cause of death of HIV-positive people.


  • Treatments last for nine months to a year because it takes a long time to kill the bacteria, as they are slow growing and not sensitive to the drugs used.

  • The most effective drugs are Isoniazid and rifampicin.

  • If TB is not treated or the person stops the treatment early, M. tuberculosis can develop resistance to all of the drugs being used.

Things to know
Things to know

  • Bacteria: M. tuberculosis and M. bovis

  • Transmission: Airborne droplets and unpasteurized milk.

  • Site of Pathogen: Primarily lungs, but can also infect the lymph nodes, bones and gut

  • Symptoms: Cough, chest pain, fatigue, weight loss and sweating.

  • Diagnosis: Microscopical examination of sputum for bacteria and X-ray