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Diagnosis of Tuberculosis

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2 Key Points ➤ TB disease remains one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. ➤ The emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis has become apparent over the past 2 decades—in particular, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB; resistant to isoniazid and rifampin) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB; resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, plus any fluoroquinolone and at least 1 of 3 injectable second-line drugs [ie, amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin]). Transmission ➤ Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is transmitted from person to person via the airborne route. Several factors determine the probability of Mtb transmission: 1. Infectiousness of the source patient: A positive sputum smear for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) or a cavity on chest radiograph are strongly associated with infectiousness. 2. Host susceptibility of the contact. 3. Duration of exposure of the contact to the source patient. 4. The environment in which the exposure takes place. A small, poorly ventilated space provides the highest risk. 5. Infectiousness of the Mtb strain. ➤ Those who are household contacts and are exposed to patients who are smear positive have higher rates of both infection and disease. ➤ Medical procedures that generate aerosols of respiratory secretions, such as sputum induction and bronchoscopy, entail significant risk for Mtb transmission unless proper precautions are taken.

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