Mycobacterium (WHO 2017). Tuberculosis is an air-borne illness,

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium found from continent to continent, has a largeimpact on the world today. According to the World Health Organization tuberculosis infected10.4 million people worldwide in 2015 (WHO 2017). Tuberculosis is an air-borne illness, andpeople are exposed to it by being in close proximity with others who are already infected.Talking, singing, coughing, and sneezing all put droplets containing the bacterium into the airand can be passed to other individuals. Six countries account for 60% of the total numberinfected; India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa (WHO 2017). Highernumbers of tuberculosis are found in developing areas, this is because they lack adequate watersources, live in unhygienic conditions, and don’t have access to proper medical care.Tuberculosis is a pathogenic bacterium that infects primarily humans because it grows andmultiplies best with the normal body temperature of 37 degree Celsius and a pH of around 7found within the human body. Once exposed to tuberculosis and the bacterium defeats the body’sline of defenses the host can experience a wide range of symptoms, and can eventually lead todeath. If tuberculosis is diagnosed in time treatment is a long process of multiple medicationsand a strict regime. Tuberculosis is an important bacterium to focus on due to it being one of themajor contributors to disability and death in the world today.Tuberculosis is a non-motile rod shaped bacterium, that is an obligate aerobe (Knechel2009). Obligate aerobe means it needs an adequate supply of oxygen to survive. This is why thelungs of its host is the perfect environment to invade, due to the constant circulation of oxygen.Tuberculosis can migrate to other areas of the body in rare circumstances, but doesn’t thrive inother sites because of the unavailability of oxygen. The slow reproduction rate contributes totuberculosis’ high virulence, since it makes it more difficult to kill the bacteria since it is stilldividing (Knechel 2009). The cell wall of tuberculosis is another reason for its high virulence.The cell wall is composed of peptidoglycan like other bacteria. But it is also composed of acomplex lipid called mycolic acid (Knechel 2009). Mycolic acid strengthens the cell wall, andhelps the bacteria to be resistant to antibiotics and other measures used to eradicate bacteria.Tuberculosis in some cases can be wiped out with the body’s own immune system, but if not thenthe tuberculosis will go on to divide and eventually the host starts to experience symptoms.Symptoms are usually only present when tuberculosis is dividing and is actively infectingthe host, not in its latent stage. The latent stage is where the body has combated the bacteria andthe host does not experience symptoms and cannot spread it to others. The bacterium stayshidden within the body until the hosts immune system is compromised and the bacteria becomemore aggressive. Symptoms of someone actively infected include a cough that last three weeksor longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum, fatigue, a decrease in appetite, weightloss, chills, and a fever (CDC 2016). Not all people who are infected with tuberculosis get sickright away, some house the bacteria within their body until a point comes when their immunesystem weakens. Those who already have a weekend immune system when they are exposed areat a higher risk of contracting tuberculosis. A few examples of reasons for an already weakenedimmune system are HIV, diabetes, and organ transplants (CDC 2016). Once symptoms arenoticeable and tuberculosis diagnosis is reached there is regime of medications that can be usedto get rid of the bacteria from the body.Once a diagnoses is reached antibiotics are required to eradicate the bacteria from thebody. Without medication the symptoms will worsen and can lead to death. Tuberculosis is notsusceptible to all antibiotics, most are ineffective alone against tuberculosis. The first line ofantibiotics used to for treating to tuberculosis is isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, andpyrazinamide, and this stage is called the intensive stage and lasts for two months (Inge andWilson 2008). The second phase is called the continuation phase and a combination of isoniazidand rifampin are used for four to seven months, and in patients with other complicationstreatment can last even longer at lower doses (Inge and Wilson 2008). The dose and duration ofthe antibiotics used determines the effectiveness of treatment. Those with a previously weakenedimmune system receive smaller doses to keep the individual from becoming sicker. Even thougha treatment is in place does not mean it is a guarantee cure. The bacterium has been found to bebuilding a resistance to the antibiotics that are typically used to treat tuberculosis. A resistancebeing built by the bacterium is worrisome due to the chances of all antibiotics that have beenproven to be affective against tuberculosis becoming unusable. At the moment those with theresistant bacterium can expect treatment to last up to two years in order to rid the body of thebacteria (Inge and Wilson 2008).Tuberculosis is found all over the world, it is even worse in developing countries wheremedical care is harder to find. Without a diagnosis and treatment those infected have a higherchance of succumbing to the bacteria. The bacterium has a high virulence, and has a higherresistance to the bodies immune system and prescribed treatment methods. Symptoms arenoticeable either early on or can present later when the immune system is weakened allowing thebacteria to divide more easily. If tuberculosis can be diagnosed, then treatment with antibioticscan be implemented to give an individual a higher chance of overcoming the bacteria andsurviving.