John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo
Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Airborn Infections
Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Medical Pathology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and mostly affects the lungs and sometimes other organs such as the kidneys, spine, and brain (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). In 2013, the CDC (2015) estimated that approximately 9 million people were infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis worldwide and approximately 1.5 million deaths were a result of TB. Tuberculosis is an airborne infection which can be spread through the air from an infected individuals cough, sneeze, or speech. Individuals infected with TB can either have latent or active stage. Latent TB is when an individual becomes infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis but the body is able to control and prevent spread of the infection. Individuals with latent TB are not infectious and cannot spread the infection to others. If the Mycobacterium tuberculosis becomes active in the individual, then they will develop signs and symptoms of the disease and will be able to spread the infection to others (CDC, 2015). There have been many different drug therapies developed to help treat the diagnosis of TB. However, through genetic mutations, some forms of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have become drug-resistant (Trauner, Borrell, Reither, & Gagnneux, 2014, p. 1063). Due to drug-resistant TB, treatment and control of TB has become compromised, especially in foreign countries where there is overcrowding, poor sanitation, and/or “inadequate or incomplete antimicrobial treatment” (Ameigh, Semler, Lebkuecher, & Scanlan, 2015, p. 27). As a result of the increased number of drug-resistant TB, surveillance and prevention along with proper education and drug administration and treatment are vital to help prevent the spread of TB.
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