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The White Plague

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Karen Slonim

The White PlagueWhere youth grows pale and spectrethin and dies John Keats Key Issues Introduction to the pathogenChanging conceptions of tuberculosis over timeDifferent views of disease and disease process coexist The way a disease is conceptualized and defined medically influences public policy The future of tuberculosis Mycobacterium tuberculosis Welladapted to human lungSmall slowgrowing Rodshaped Grows in tight parallel strands Waxy covering Produces small amounts of toxin Buried deep in tissue Can be killed relatively easily 1 Evades immune response Survives and persists within bodyhighly persistent chronic infection2 3 Retains potential for reactivation if bodys immune system weakens 4 INFECTION can proceed to DISEASE at any pointTransmission Mainly transmitted by droplet nucleirequires close somewhat longterm active contactPerceived as being a less infective disease however some people do not show symptomsAerosolized by sneezing coughing singing etc Acquired from and transmitted to other animals eg cattle dogs Mycobacterium bovis from cows foodborne via infected meat milk Tuberculosis complexspecies of Mycobacteria lead to tuberculosisin humans Mostly M tuberculosis and M bovisPrimary sites of infection Primarily a disease of the lungsSpreads via lymphatic and blood systems to other sites Tubercles develop at site of infection Tubercles Small hard lumps
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