TB (Tuberculosis)

TB is an abbreviation for tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a bacteria. TB probably became a ‘human disease’ when people started keeping animals to provide themselves with food and drink. Then the TB bacteria probably jumped from animals to people. The TB bacteria ensure that your organs digest. That is why TB is also called consumption. TB is often only discovered very late and therefore sometimes too late in a patient.


TB is combated with antibiotics . Microbiologist Alexander Fleming invented this medicine. He had discovered that a substance, penicillin, could be made from the fungus penicillium notatum, which could combat many bacteria, including TB. But he did not have the equipment or knowledge to extract the substance from that mold. It was not until the Second World War that further research into penicillin was conducted. This allowed more production and sales. It was so successful and a lot of people became better because of it. But after a while, TB became far too easy to think of that governments and health organizations became lax in combating TB. As a result, TB was not further reduced. Their control over whether people completed their antibiotic treatment also relaxed. Many people did not complete their antibiotic treatment because they were often no longer bothered by the TB, even though it was still in their blood. This is the reason why a new TB variant was introduced: MDR TB. (A mutation of TB.)
This variant is immune to many antibiotics. In other words, multi-resistance. (MDR stands for Multi Drug Resistant.) There is very little that can be done against this form.


Relatively speaking, TB is not very contagious . You have open and closed TB. The closed form is not contagious. The open form, on the other hand, is contagious. Someone who has open TB can infect approximately 20 people every year. If you compare this with flu, for example, flu is much more contagious. What is difficult is what I said before, that TB is often discovered very late, and only manifests itself very late. As a result, an infected person can sometimes infect many people without them knowing it. A good way to detect TB is to take x-rays of, for example, the lungs.

TB in Eastern Europe

TBC, and especially MDR TBC, is emerging very strongly in Eastern Europe and especially in Russia. In the prisons they are very close together and that is why the disease spreads very quickly there. There is just not enough money to buy medicines, but this is usually no longer useful because they are in the multi-resistant form.

TB-AIDS relationship

There is a major problem regarding the relationship between TB and AIDS . It has been established that many people with AIDS ultimately die from TB. This is because AIDS severely weakens the immune system. This virtually gives TB free rein. It is also the case that people get AIDS more easily if they already have TB. Because people have TB, the AIDS virus can enter more easily during sexual intercourse.

Vaccine against TB

There is currently no vaccine against TB. Vaccines containing TB proteins are now being developed that protect animals against TB. But it is not certain that this also works against people, and if this were the case it would certainly take another 5 to 10 years before they can prove this. For the time being, we will have to wait a little longer for a possible vaccine.

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