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Infectious Diseases: Tuberculosis, Urinary Tract Infections

A potentially serious infectious disease affecting primarily the lungs, tuberculosis (TB) is known as TB.


A potentially serious infectious disease affecting primarily the lungs, tuberculosis (TB) is known as TB. As coughs and sneezes release tiny droplets of bacteria into the air, tuberculosis is spread from person to person. The outbreak of HIV, which causes AIDS, resulted in a significant increase in tuberculosis infections in developed countries in the 1980s. The TB germs cannot be killed if a person has HIV, which weakens their immune system. Several of the most commonly used drugs to treat tuberculosis are resistant to them. To eliminate the infection and prevent antibiotic resistance, people with active tuberculosis have to take a wide range of medications for months at a time.


The bacteria that cause tuberculosis can live in your body, but your immune system generally keeps you from becoming sick. The following are variations of tuberculosis:

Latent TB - There is a latent TB infection in your body, but the bacteria are not active, so you do not feel any symptoms. TBC, also known as latent TB or TB infection, cannot be transmitted. It is crucial to treat latent TB before it becomes active.

Active TB - A person with active TB, or TB disease, becomes sick and, in many cases, it can be transmitted to other people. In most cases, you become infected after being exposed to TB bacteria.

Active TB is characterized by:
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up mucus or blood
  • Pain while breathing or coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing for three or more weeks
As well as your kidneys, your spine and your brain can be affected by tuberculosis. TB symptoms vary depending on which organ is affected when it occurs outside your lungs. The spine may be affected by tuberculosis, and the kidneys may be afflicted by tuberculosis.


By releasing microscopic droplets into the air, bacteria transmit tuberculosis from person to person. Untreated, active tuberculosis can cause this to occur when someone coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings. Although tuberculosis is contagious, it is extremely difficult to contract. Tuberculosis is more likely to be spread by someone who lives or works with you. A person with active TB who has been treated with appropriate drug therapy for at least two weeks isn't contagious.

HIV and TB

The spread of AIDS, which causes tuberculosis, has led to an increase in tuberculosis cases since the 1980s. TB bacteria cannot be controlled in the body by HIV due to the suppression of the immune system. The chances of HIV-infected individuals contracting TB increase substantially when latent TB becomes active.

Drug resistant TB

It is also a major killer due to the emergence of drug-resistant strains. As TB germs have evolved, some have learned to survive despite medication. There are people who do not finish the entire treatment course or do not take their medications as recommended. Because antibiotics do not kill all of the bacteria they are intended to kill, drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis emerge. Those bacteria that survive develop resistance to that drug and many other antibiotics as well. In addition to isoniazid and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) some strains of TB bacteria have developed resistance to these treatments.

There are also TB strains resistant to less common drugs such as fluoroquinolones, amikacin, and capreomycin (Capastat), which are not commonly used in TB treatment. Infections which do not respond to other types of medications are often treated with these medications.

Urinary Tract Infections

Infections of your urinary tract (UTIs) can affect your kidneys, your ureters, your bladder, and your urethra. Lower urinary tract infections are more common, including bladder and urethra infections. Females are more likely to suffer from UTIs than males. It is uncomfortable and painful to have a bladder infection. Despite this, kidney infections can be serious. Infections of the urinary tract are typically treated with antibiotics. Preventing UTIs can be accomplished by taking precautions in advance.

In the case of an infection of the urinary tract, you might experience the following symptoms:
  • Urination that is strong, persistent, and difficult to control
  • When urinating, there is a burning sensation
  • Urinating frequently and in small amounts
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • A cloudy urine
  • Red, pink, or cola-colored urine indicates the presence of blood in the urine
  • Women often experience pelvic pain, especially around their pubic bone and in the center of their pelvis
  • It is common for older adults to overlook or misdiagnose UTIs as other conditions.

Types of Urinary Tract Infection

Different kinds of UTI may present with different signs and symptoms depending on the part of the urinary tract affected.

  • Nausea
  • Back pain
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking and chills
  • Discharge
  • Burning with urination
Bladder (Cystitis)
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Lower abdomen discomfort


Upon entering the urinary tract through the urethra, bacteria multiply in the bladder. It is very difficult for the urinary system to keep out these microscopic invaders, despite its best efforts. An infection might then occur in the urinary tract as a result of the bacteria taking hold. Typically, UTIs affect women, especially those with a bladder or urethra infection.
  • Infection of the bladder (Cystitis) - Erysipelas coli (E. coli) can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) in the intestinal tract. It may also be caused by other bacteria.A person who engages in sexual activity may contract cystitis, but that does not mean that he is engaged in sexual activity. Cystitis is a common condition for women due to their anatomy - specifically, the short distance between the urethra and the anus as well as the urethral opening to the bladder.
  • Infection of urethra (urethritis) - The UTI can result from GI bacteria spreading to the urethra from the anus. The location of the female urethra in relation to the vagina makes it susceptible to infectious diseases, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and mycoplasma.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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