Tuberculosis: Introduction FeedbackA general introduction to Tuberculosis.Source: NHS Choices, 30 Nov 2012
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person.
It is a serious condition but can be cured with proper treatment.
TB mainly affects the lungs. However, it can affect any part of the body, including the bones and nervous system.
Typical symptoms of TB include:
- having a persistent cough for more than three weeks that brings up phlegm, which may be bloody
- weight loss
- night sweats
- high temperature (fever)
- tiredness and fatigue
- loss of appetite
You should see a GP if you have a cough that lasts more than three weeks or if you cough up blood.
Read more about the symptoms of tuberculosis.
What causes tuberculosis?
TB is caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis.
TB that affects the lungs is the only form of the condition that is contagious and usually only spreads after prolonged exposure to someone with the illness. For example, TB often spreads within a family who live in the same house.
In most healthy people, the immune system (the body's natural defence against infection and illness) kills the bacteria and you have no further symptoms.
However, sometimes the immune system cannot kill the bacteria, but manages to prevent it from spreading in the body. This means you will not have any symptoms, but the bacteria will remain in your body. This is known as latent TB.
If the immune system fails to kill or contain the infection, it can spread to the lungs or other parts of the body and symptoms will develop within a few weeks or months. This is known as active TB.
Latent TB could develop into an active TB infection at a later date, particularly if your immune system becomes weakened.
Read more about the causes of tuberculosis.
How is tuberculosis treated?
With treatment, a TB infection can usually be cured. Most people will need a course of antibiotics, usually for six months.
Several different antibiotics are used. This is because some forms of TB are resistant to certain antibiotics. If you are infected with a drug-resistant form of TB, treatment can last as long as 18 months.
The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine can provide effective protection against TB in up to eight out of 10 people who are given it.
Currently, BCG vaccinations are only recommended for groups of people who are at a higher risk of developing TB.
This includes children living in areas with high rates of TB or those who have close family members from countries with high TB rates.
It is also recommended that some people, such as healthcare workers, are vaccinated due to the increased risk of contracting TB while working.
Read more about tuberculosis vaccine.
How common is TB?
Before antibiotics were introduced, TB was a major health problem in the UK. Nowadays, the condition is much less common. However, in the last 20 years TB cases have gradually increased, particularly among ethnic minority communities who are originally from places where TB is more common.
In 2011, 8,963 cases of TB were reported in the UK. Of these, more than 6,000 of these cases affected people who were born outside the UK.
It is estimated that one-third of the world's population is infected with latent TB. Of these, about 10% will become active at some point.
Tuberculosis: Guidance FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Tuberculosis from producers of guidance information.
Tuberculosis: Clinical diagnosis and management of tuberculosis, and measures for its prevention and control - guidance (CG117)National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 01 March 2011
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 01 March 2012
Information for the public
Tuberculosis: Information for the public FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Tuberculosis, from Department of Health accredited producers of patient information.
- Bupa , 31 March 2014
- NHS Choices, 30 November 2012
- Patient UK
- British Lung Foundation
- Aidsmap, 17 May 2012
- Medicines for Children
- Medicines for Children
- Medicines for Children
- Medicines for Children
Tuberculosis: Ongoing Research FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Tuberculosis, from research trials.
- UK Clinical Trials Gateway, 08 November 2013
Study Evaluating Aerosol and Intradermal Administration of a Candidate Tuberculosis (TB) Vaccine, MVA85A, as a Way to Increase Immune Response and Avoid Anti-vector ImmunityUK Clinical Trials Gateway, 26 September 2013
- UK Clinical Trials Gateway, 26 February 2013
- UK Clinical Trials Gateway, 02 August 2011
- UK Clinical Trials Gateway, 31 August 2012
- UK Clinical Trials Gateway, 06 October 2010
Tuberculosis: Evidence Uncertainty FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Tuberculosis, highlighting areas where further research is needed.
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 10 June 2014
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 14 February 2014
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 10 February 2014
Symptom- and chest-radiography screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis in HIV-negative adults and adults with unknown HIV statusUK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 17 February 2014
Rifamycins (rifampicin, rifabutin and rifapentine) compared to isoniazid for preventing tuberculosis in HIV-negative people at risk of active TBUK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 16 September 2013
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 24 October 2013
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 18 May 2012
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 03 June 2013
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 20 September 2013
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 14 November 2011
Tuberculosis: Medicines FeedbackAppropriate medicines information for Tuberculosis supplied by Datapharm, a leading source of trusted, credible information about medicines.
Tuberculosis (TB) - Medicines Information
- Capreomycin sulphate
- Depo-Medrone (a brand of Methylprednisolone Acetate)
- Medrone (a brand of Methylprednisolone)
- Methylprednisolone sodium succinate
- Mycobutin (a brand of Rifabutin)
- Rifadin (a brand of Rifampicin)
- Rifater (a brand of Isoniazid , a brand of Pyrazinamide , a brand of Rifampicin)
- Rifinah (a brand of Isoniazid , a brand of Rifampicin)
- Rimactane (a brand of Rifampicin)
- Solu-Medrone (a brand of Methylprednisolone Sodium Succinate)
- Results are currently sorted by relevance (Sort results by: date)
- Results 11 - 20 (of 109)
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...diagnosis of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: a meta-analysis Ling D l, Zwerling...the detection of rifampicin resistant tuberculosis reflected the data presented and is...for detection of isoniazid resistant tuberculosis were weaker and more variable. ...
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, 24 June 2009
4 months of rifampin compared with 9 months of isoniazid for the management of latent tuberculosis infection: a meta-analysis and cost-effectiveness study that focuses on compliance and liver toxicity
...isoniazid for the management of latent tuberculosis infection: a meta-analysis and cost...isoniazid in the treatment of latent tuberculosis infection in terms of safety and compliance...but further research is needed into tuberculosis reactivation. Given the limited evidence...
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, 02 March 2011
...content Isoniazid for preventing tuberculosis in non-HIV infected persons Marek...Smaill FM. Isoniazid for preventing tuberculosis in non-HIV infected persons. Cochrane...Morbidity and mortality from Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection remain high worldwide, with...
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 25 January 1999 - Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Nitrate reductase assay for rapid detection of isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol and streptomycin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
...streptomycin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis...streptomycin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis...Humans; Isoniazid; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Nitrate Reductase; Rifampin AccessionNumber...
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, 04 November 2013
...preventive therapy and risk for resistant tuberculosis Balcells M E, Thomas S L, Godfrey...preventive therapy and risk for resistant tuberculosis. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2006...pharmacology /therapeutic use; Mycobacterium tuberculosis /drug effects; Risk Assessment...
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, 01 September 2008
...of less than six months for treating tuberculosis Hellen Gelband * Editorial Group...of less than six months for treating tuberculosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews...terms Treatment for active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is a very long process compared...
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 25 October 1999 - Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Potential cost-effectiveness of rifampin vs. isoniazid for latent tuberculosis: implications for future clinical trials
...rifampin vs. isoniazid for latent tuberculosis: implications for future clinical...months of isoniazid treatment for latent tuberculosis. The authors concluded that rifampin...compared with isoniazid for latent tuberculosis (participants with tuberculosis clinics...
NHS Economic Evaluation Database, 02 August 2012
...consequences of additional chest X-ray in a tuberculosis prevention program in Botswana Samandari...starting isoniazid, to reduce the risk of tuberculosis in patients with HIV. The authors...symptom screening alone prevented more tuberculosis cases and deaths, for less money...
NHS Economic Evaluation Database, 19 November 2012
The nitrate reductase assay for the rapid detection of isoniazid and rifampicin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
...rifampicin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis...rifampicin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis...Sensitivity Tests /methods; Mycobacterium tuberculosis /drug effects; Nitrate Reductase...
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, 03 February 2009
Short-course therapy with rifampin plus isoniazid, compared with standard therapy with isoniazid, for latent tuberculosis infection: a meta-analysis
...therapy with isoniazid, for latent tuberculosis infection: a meta-analysis Ena...standard isoniazid therapy for latent tuberculosis infection. The authors concluded that...standard isoniazid therapy for latent tuberculosis (TB) infection. Searching ...
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, 30 April 2006
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