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Research Topic on Tuberculosis

Nearly 10 million people end up getting Tuberculosis (TB) each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates a latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in roughly 1.7 billion people around the globe (Furin et at., 2019). For instance, Germany had a declining case of the disease for many decades up to 2015, when the issues started to emerge again in significant numbers. In the United States, the cases since 2018 have been recorded at a rate of 7 new cases per 150,000 persons (World Health Organization, 2019). This paper aims to thoroughly explain TB from diagnosis to treatment and finally give its effects on the embalming process and how it can potentially affect the embalmer.

It is true that TB does not often appear in people and has a record of being treated with high rates of success. Since it is rare, most doctors do not encounter the disease and experience delayed diagnosis due to variations in its symptoms. Since the condition reveals itself in various ways and can affect any organ in the body, medical professionals nickname a “medical chameleon” (Chakaya et a., 2021). There are moves to ensure TB migrates globally by raising its profile to ensure that physicians are familiar with the generally required diagnosis procedures and the most effective treatment recommendations. This research will incorporate Selective surveys to describe TB’s management and clinical presentations.

The most renowned bacteria that cause TB is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a rod-shaped, pathogenic, aerobic, and nonmotile bacterium. The disease is mainly communicated through droplet infection. The guarantee of a person getting infected primarily depends on the duration of contact, frequency of contact with a person with infectious TB, the closeness of contact, the vulnerability of the susceptible person, and the virulence and amount of pathogen transferred. The extracellular and intracellular growth of bacteria happens after one has inhaled it (Reid et al., 2019). It usually takes place around the upper side of the lungs, which receive enough oxygen.

Around four weeks after infection, those individuals with serious immunity form T-cells responsible for inhibiting the bacteria from growing intracellularly. However, it a not a guarantee that the bacteria cannot survive since it can thrive without initially manifesting any symptoms. Progressive primary TB are cases where clinically manifest TB is displayed in individuals with an immunodeficiency. However, many patients get latent TB infection accompanied by a situation where the tuberculous granuloma is scarred (Suárez et al., 2019). The phenomenon makes it hard for physicians to identify the disease during diagnosis since it is not readily evident when imaging occurs. Therefore, the infected person shows positive results with no symptoms of the disease.

It appears in various forms, including pulmonary, extrapulmonary, and disseminated Tuberculosis. Signs of pulmonary Tuberculosis include night sweats, fever, hemoptysis, productive cough, and abnormal fatigue. For adults with strong immunity, the disease manifests itself at a slow rate in contrast to children and immunocompromised individuals who commonly experience pronounced symptoms. Notably, when a cough persists for over three weeks, one can consider checking for TB (Sia & Rengarajan, 2019). Data from developed countries indicate that extrapulmonary Tuberculosis is increasing in its prevalence levels. For instance, around 40% of all the cases of TB in Spain were categorized in the group in 2018.

The clinical symptoms can assume several shapes determined by the affected body organs. The last type of disease that this paper will discuss affects two or more body organ systems and is known as disseminated TB. It was mainly found in children and persons with immunity defects, but it has recently also affected those adults with perfect immunity conditions. Research in Germany indicates that most of such individuals are immigrants from countries with high TB prevalence. They also experience difficulties in accessing healthcare due to language barriers and frequent relocation hence advancing the disease while delaying diagnosis.

The diagnosis of the disease is generally through direct microscopic pathogen demonstration, nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and culture. The testing sample has to be retrieved before treatment starts, and the specification for testing for the bacterium is explicitly specified. One can rule out open pulmonary TB if the acid-fast rods cannot be detected in the sputum for three days (Singh & Chibale, 2021). As far as an embalming process is concerned, the body fluids from the cadaver are usually drained before injecting preservatives and disinfectants into the body. The activities can cause the embalmer to contract TB from the infected corpse (Menon et al., 2021). The aerosols that are typically generated in the processes can enter the body of the embalmer through the nose and mouth before being attached to the lungs.

This paper has managed to touch on Tuberculosis which is a disease that affects industrialized nations all over the globe. The condition is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that causes the disease. It can be treated successfully when timely medication is administered. It is also imperative to note that TB can manifest in various forms, including pulmonary, extrapulmonary, and disseminated. It primarily affects people with less immunity. Its impact on the embalming process and the embalmer is significant since aerosols produced while handing the cadaver may transmit the disease.


Chakaya, J., Khan, M., Ntoumi, F., Aklillu, E., Fatima, R., Mwaba, P., … & Zumla, A. (2021). Global Tuberculosis Report 2020–Reflections on the Global TB burden, treatment, and prevention efforts. International Journal of Infectious Diseases113, S7-S12.

Furin, J., Cox, H., & Pai, M. (2019). Tuberculosis. Lancet (London, England)393(10181), 1642-1656.

Menon, P., Aldarwich, A., Hamdan, L., Hammoud, M., & Al Aiyan, A. (2021). Novel formaldehyde-free embalming fluid formulation for long-term preservation of cadavers for anatomy teaching. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture33(9), 718-725.

Reid, M. J., Arinaminpathy, N., Bloom, A., Bloom, B. R., Boehme, C., Chaisson, R., … & Goosby, E. P. (2019). Building a tuberculosis-free world: The Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis. The Lancet393(10178), 1331-1384.

Sia, J. K., & Rengarajan, J. (2019). Immunology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections. Microbiology spectrum7(4), 7-4.

Singh, V., & Chibale, K. (2021). Strategies to combat multi-drug resistance in Tuberculosis. Accounts of chemical research54(10), 2361-2376.

Suárez, I., Fünger, S. M., Kröger, S., Rademacher, J., Fätkenheuer, G., & Rybniker, J. (2019). The diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. Deutsches Aerzteblatt International116(43).

World Health Organization. (2019). WHO consolidated guidelines on drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment (No. WHO/CDS/TB/2019.7). World Health Organization.


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