Microbiology- Infectious Disease and Public Health



Tuberculosis (TB) refers to an airborne infectious illness thatarises from bacteria affecting the lungs. Despite the disease beingavoidable and treatable, it progresses to be a global cause ofsickness and fatality. Close to a third of the internationalpopulation, have the bacteria. Tuberculosis in America is reflectiveof the worldwide realism. Current statistics depict that yearly TBoccurrence amid individuals born in America was 1.2 for every 100,000(CDC, 2014). This is in contrast to 15.6 amid immigrants. Researchconducted in 2013 notes that 80% of drug resistant incidences wereamid immigrants with 80% amid US-born persons (CDC, 2014). The reasonfor choosing TB is that it is a difficult disease to diagnose andregulate in America. In addition, is the emergence and spread ofdrug-resistant TB, causing alarm amid populations.

United States Agency for International Development is theleading American administration group on international TB regulation,which started its efforts in 1998 (Global Health Policy,2014). The agency has been accountable for the funding of responseprograms in dealing with the illness in many nations. The enactmentof the 2008 Lantos-Hyde approved particular funding andobjectives for American TB regulation endeavors (Global HealthPolicy, 2014). It also mandated the growth of an approach for theAmerican administration’s international TB action. The government,under these umbrella bodies intends to contribute towards treatmentof at minimum 2.6 million incidences of TB, thousands ofdrug-resistant instances and result in a 50% drop in TB fatalitiesand illness burden to relatives (Global Health Policy, 2014).More departments engaged in the illnesses’ response are the Officeof the Global AIDS Coordinator leading in endeavors to tackleTB-HIV. The CDC as well avails information on epidemiology, clinicalprocesses, and laboratory support. America is the major donor toGlobal Drug Facility, a channel for providing grants tonations to purchase TB medication. The country is a major donortowards the regulation of TB.

Internationally, the disease is a widespread infectious illness andthe major cause of fatality amid persons infected with HIV. Despiteconsiderable advances towards the eradication of the illness inAmerica, TB persists as a pressing public health challenge, as wellas in different sections of the globe. Statistics of TB incidence in2013 depict a 4.2% drop compared to the previous year (CDC Weekly,2014). Research demonstrates that despite the reduction in AmericanTB incidences from 1993, the objective of eradicating the illness inAmerica determined in 1989 has not been achieved. In 2013, manystates have noted a decline in TB cases (CDC Weekly, 2014).Incidence amid immigrants is accountable for the low rate on TBdecline in US. Most TB incidences amid immigrants have been linked toreactivated infection. The illness should be suspected in personsthat suddenly loss weight, desire for food, sweats during the night,have unexplained tiredness and fever. In case TB affects the lungs,signs involve chest pains, coughing blood and persistent cough forthree weeks. In case it affects different body parts, signs rely onthe region affected. Treatment entails the employment of antibioticsto suppress the bacteria. Successful treatment is hard arising fromthe atypical system and chemical structure within the mycobacterialcell wall, impeding the entrance of drugs making antibiotics futile(CDC, 2014).

TB was termed as an international emergency in 1993, by the WorldHealth Organization. Advances had been achieved from then towardsreducing the spread of the disease, in addition to finding effectivecures. However, it has re-emerged in the previous two decades,because of immigration in developed nations and HIV spread indeveloping nations. Another case of TB re-emergence arises from thedrug-resistant illness. Due to the re-emergence, there is widespreadvariability and uncertainty on how to regulate TB (Borgdorff &ampSoolingen, 2013).

The government notes that tuberculosis progresses to be a majorhealth challenge internationally. This is because despite increasedfunding and more strategies geared towards its eradication, it isapproximated that over two million deaths yearly arise from TBrelated complications (Borgdorff &amp Soolingen, 2013). The Americangovernment attributes the high incidence of TB in the nation to themovement of immigrants. The alarming incidence of drug-resistantinfection also draws back efforts that have been achieved so far. Thegovernment notes that it will be difficult to attain the 2015objective of minimizing frequency by 50% using 1999 occurrences(Borgdorff &amp Soolingen, 2013). Enhancing principal control plansto avail high-quality management and support for sick persons tothwart advancement of resistance, in addition to, determining andtreating current drug-resistant illness occurrences, will assist intackling the issue.

In the past, the treatment of TB involved diet interventions andclimatic drugs, which often resulted in more fatalities. However,towards the 20th century, Selman Waksman’s study resulted in thediscovery of streptomycin, shaping prospective drug experiments(Iseman, 2002). Another major discovery was rifampicin, whose testingdepicted the capability to suppress the TB mycobacteria (Iseman,2002). Current research involves the reduction in the period oftreatment from 2 years to 6 months (Iseman, 2002). However, thedevelopment has failed due to patient noncompliance to medication.There has also been renewed study on the epidemiology and biology ofTB. Ongoing research focuses on controlling the illness and avoidingits rapid spread. Due to the re-emergence of drug-resistant TB, morestudies are being conducted on finding successful cure (Iseman,2002).


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. (2014). TB inthe United States: A Global Perspective. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/globaltb/role.htm

Borgdorff, M. W &amp Soolingen, D. (2013). The re-emergence oftuberculosis: what have we learnt from molecular epidemiology?Clinical Microbiology Infection, 19(10), 889-901.

Iseman, M. D. (2002). Tuberculosis therapy: past, present and future.European Respiratory Journal, 20(36), 87-94.

CDC Weekly. (2014, Mar. 21). Trends in Tuberculosis – UnitedStates, 2013, 63 (11), 229-233.

Global Health Policy. (2014, Mar. 24). The US Government andGlobal Tuberculosis. Retrieved fromhttp://kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/the-u-s-government-and-global- tuberculosis/