/ tju:bɜːkjʊloʊsɪs /
TB · T
Prevedi tuberculosis na: francuski · nemački
ETYM New Lat. Related to Tubercle.
(TB) formerly known as consumption or phthisis; Infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It takes several forms, of which pulmonary tuberculosis is by far the most common. A vaccine, BCG, was developed around 1920 and the first antituberculosis drug, streptomycin, in 1944. The bacterium is mostly kept in check by the body’s immune system; about 5% of those infected develop the disease, treatment for which is a course of antibiotics lasting for six months. This is successful in 95% of cases.
In pulmonary TB, a patch of inflammation develops in the lung, with formation of an abscess. Often, this heals spontaneously, leaving only scar tissue. The dangers are of rapid spread through both lungs (what used to be called “galloping consumption”) or the development of miliary tuberculosis (spreading in the bloodstream to other sites) or tuberculous meningitis.
In 1993 the World Health Organization stressed the growing threat of TB, which claims 3 million lives a year. Already one third of the global population is infected, mostly in the developing world. However, over the last 15 years there has been a sharp resurgence in countries where the disease was in decline. The increase has been most marked in deprived inner city areas, particularly in the United States, and here there is a clear link between TB and HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. The spread of AIDS is expected to cause a continued increase in the number of active TB cases.
Also, the last decade has seen the spread of drug-resistant strains of the TB bacterium. Many strains are now resistant to the two frontline drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin, and some are multi-resistant. Rare until its recent appearance in the United States, multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB is now spreading through a number of developing countries. MDR TB is untreatable and many of its victims have died.
Infection by the tubercle bacillus manifesting itself in lesions of various parts of the body (especially the lungs and bones); SYN. TB, T.B.