This bacteria is non-motile and rod shaped.
There are two types of tests: a skin test and a blood test. In the skin test a small amount of fluid is injected into the arm. The raising and swelling of the area shows whether or not the host is positive. The blood tests are called interferon-gamma release assays. If the blood sample reacts with the solution the host is positive for TB.
Stage 1: The bacteria is inhaled and one week later reaches an area of the lungs where they destroy macrophages
Stage 2: The bacteria begins reproducing exponentially
Stage 3: After ~3 weeks the bacteria do not grow exponentially anymore. For many TB patients, the immune cells stabilize the site at this point and the growth of more bacteria is more balanced for host health. In the lungs there is a circle of infected macrophages surrounded by healthy macrophages. They cannot spread in this stage
Stage 4: This only happens in about 5% of cases, but when it does happen the bacteria begins reproducing very quickly again and the host is highly contagious
- Human pathogen
- People who have recently been infected or people with a weakened immune system are at higher risk of developing tuberculosis
- There are vaccines for tuberculosis but these are not widely used
- There are drugs available to treat the pathogen
- Some types of TB are developing resistance to these drugs
Africa and Southeast Asia have the highest prevalences of tuberculosis