Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those affected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It was historically called "consumption" due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.
Tuberculosis is spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze. People with latent TB do not spread the disease. Active infection occurs more often in people with HIV/AIDS and in those who smoke. Diagnosis of active TB is based on chest X-rays, as well as microscopic examination and culture of body fluids. Diagnosis of latent TB relies on the tuberculin skin test (TST) or blood tests.
Prevention of TB involves screening those at high risk, early detection and treatment of cases, and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine. Those at high risk include household, workplace, and social contacts of people with active TB. Treatment requires the use of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem with increasing rates of multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB).
Presently, one-quarter of the world's population is thought to be infected with TB. New infections occur in about 1% of the population each year. In 2017, there were more than 10 million cases of active TB which resulted in 1.6 million deaths. This makes it the number one cause of death from an infectious disease. More than 95% of deaths occurred in developing countries, and more than 50% in India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines. The number of new cases each year has decreased since 2000. About 80% of people in many Asian and African countries test positive while 5–10% of people in the United States population test positive by the tuberculin test. Tuberculosis has been present in humans since ancient times.
|Synonyms||Phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, consumption|
|Chest X-ray of a person with advanced tuberculosis: Infection in both lungs is marked by white arrow-heads, and the formation of a cavity is marked by black arrows.|
|Specialty||Infectious disease, pulmonology|
|Symptoms||Chronic cough, fever, blood in the sputum, weight loss|
|Risk factors||Smoking, HIV/AIDS|
|Diagnostic method||CXR, culture, tuberculin skin test|
|Differential diagnosis||Necrotizing pneumonia, histoplasmosis, sarcoidosis, coccidioidomycosis|
|Prevention||Screening those at high risk, treatment of those infected, vaccination with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)|
|Frequency||25% of people (latent TB)|
|Deaths||1.6 million (2017)|
Tuberculosis may infect any part of the body, but most commonly occurs in the lungs (known as pulmonary tuberculosis). Extrapulmonary TB occurs when tuberculosis develops outside of the lungs, although extrapulmonary TB may coexist with pulmonary TB.
If a tuberculosis infection does become active, it most commonly involves the lungs (in about 90% of cases). Symptoms may include chest pain and a prolonged cough producing sputum. About 25% of people may not have any symptoms (i.e. they remain "asymptomatic"). Occasionally, people may cough up blood in small amounts, and in very rare cases, the infection may erode into the pulmonary artery or a Rasmussen's aneurysm, resulting in massive bleeding. Tuberculosis may become a chronic illness and cause extensive scarring in the upper lobes of the lungs. The upper lung lobes are more frequently affected by tuberculosis than the lower ones. The reason for this difference is not clear. It may be due to either better air flow, or poor lymph drainage within the upper lungs.
In 15–20% of active cases, the infection spreads outside the lungs, causing other kinds of TB. These are collectively denoted as "extrapulmonary tuberculosis". Extrapulmonary TB occurs more commonly in people with a weakened immune system and young children. In those with HIV, this occurs in more than 50% of cases. Notable extrapulmonary infection sites include the pleura (in tuberculous pleurisy), the central nervous system (in tuberculous meningitis), the lymphatic system (in scrofula of the neck), the genitourinary system (in urogenital tuberculosis), and the bones and joints (in Pott disease of the spine), among others. A potentially more serious, widespread form of TB is called "disseminated tuberculosis", also known as miliary tuberculosis. Miliary TB currently makes up about 10% of extrapulmonary cases.
The main cause of TB is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), a small, aerobic, nonmotile bacillus. The high lipid content of this pathogen accounts for many of its unique clinical characteristics. It divides every 16 to 20 hours, which is an extremely slow rate compared with other bacteria, which usually divide in less than an hour. Mycobacteria have an outer membrane lipid bilayer. If a Gram stain is performed, MTB either stains very weakly "Gram-positive" or does not retain dye as a result of the high lipid and mycolic acid content of its cell wall. MTB can withstand weak disinfectants and survive in a dry state for weeks. In nature, the bacterium can grow only within the cells of a host organism, but M. tuberculosis can be cultured in the laboratory.
Using histological stains on expectorated samples from phlegm (also called "sputum"), scientists can identify MTB under a microscope. Since MTB retains certain stains even after being treated with acidic solution, it is classified as an acid-fast bacillus. The most common acid-fast staining techniques are the Ziehl–Neelsen stain and the Kinyoun stain, which dye acid-fast bacilli a bright red that stands out against a blue background. Auramine-rhodamine staining and fluorescence microscopy are also used.
The M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) includes four other TB-causing mycobacteria: M. bovis, M. africanum, M. canetti, and M. microti. M. africanum is not widespread, but it is a significant cause of tuberculosis in parts of Africa. M. bovis was once a common cause of tuberculosis, but the introduction of pasteurized milk has almost completely eliminated this as a public health problem in developed countries. M. canetti is rare and seems to be limited to the Horn of Africa, although a few cases have been seen in African emigrants. M. microti is also rare and is seen almost only in immunodeficient people, although its prevalence may be significantly underestimated.
Other known pathogenic mycobacteria include M. leprae, M. avium, and M. kansasii. The latter two species are classified as "nontuberculous mycobacteria" (NTM). NTM cause neither TB nor leprosy, but they do cause lung diseases that resemble TB.
A number of factors make people more susceptible to TB infections. The most important risk factor globally is HIV; 13% of all people with TB are infected by the virus. This is a particular problem in sub-Saharan Africa, where rates of HIV are high. Of people without HIV who are infected with tuberculosis, about 5–10% develop active disease during their lifetimes; in contrast, 30% of those coinfected with HIV develop the active disease.
Tuberculosis is closely linked to both overcrowding and malnutrition, making it one of the principal diseases of poverty. Those at high risk thus include: people who inject illicit drugs, inhabitants and employees of locales where vulnerable people gather (e.g. prisons and homeless shelters), medically underprivileged and resource-poor communities, high-risk ethnic minorities, children in close contact with high-risk category patients, and health-care providers serving these patients.
When people with active pulmonary TB cough, sneeze, speak, sing, or spit, they expel infectious aerosol droplets 0.5 to 5.0 µm in diameter. A single sneeze can release up to 40,000 droplets. Each one of these droplets may transmit the disease, since the infectious dose of tuberculosis is very small (the inhalation of fewer than 10 bacteria may cause an infection).
People with prolonged, frequent, or close contact with people with TB are at particularly high risk of becoming infected, with an estimated 22% infection rate. A person with active but untreated tuberculosis may infect 10–15 (or more) other people per year. Transmission should occur from only people with active TB – those with latent infection are not thought to be contagious. The probability of transmission from one person to another depends upon several factors, including the number of infectious droplets expelled by the carrier, the effectiveness of ventilation, the duration of exposure, the virulence of the M. tuberculosis strain, the level of immunity in the uninfected person, and others. The cascade of person-to-person spread can be circumvented by segregating those with active ("overt") TB and putting them on anti-TB drug regimens. After about two weeks of effective treatment, subjects with nonresistant active infections generally do not remain contagious to others. If someone does become infected, it typically takes three to four weeks before the newly infected person becomes infectious enough to transmit the disease to others.
About 90% of those infected with M. tuberculosis have asymptomatic, latent TB infections (sometimes called LTBI), with only a 10% lifetime chance that the latent infection will progress to overt, active tuberculous disease. In those with HIV, the risk of developing active TB increases to nearly 10% a year. If effective treatment is not given, the death rate for active TB cases is up to 66%.
TB infection begins when the mycobacteria reach the alveolar air sacs of the lungs, where they invade and replicate within endosomes of alveolar macrophages. Macrophages identify the bacterium as foreign and attempt to eliminate it by phagocytosis. During this process, the bacterium is enveloped by the macrophage and stored temporarily in a membrane-bound vesicle called a phagosome. The phagosome then combines with a lysosome to create a phagolysosome. In the phagolysosome, the cell attempts to use reactive oxygen species and acid to kill the bacterium. However, M. tuberculosis has a thick, waxy mycolic acid capsule that protects it from these toxic substances. M. tuberculosis is able to reproduce inside the macrophage and will eventually kill the immune cell.
The primary site of infection in the lungs, known as the "Ghon focus", is generally located in either the upper part of the lower lobe, or the lower part of the upper lobe. Tuberculosis of the lungs may also occur via infection from the blood stream. This is known as a Simon focus and is typically found in the top of the lung. This hematogenous transmission can also spread infection to more distant sites, such as peripheral lymph nodes, the kidneys, the brain, and the bones. All parts of the body can be affected by the disease, though for unknown reasons it rarely affects the heart, skeletal muscles, pancreas, or thyroid.
Tuberculosis is classified as one of the granulomatous inflammatory diseases. Macrophages, T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, and fibroblasts aggregate to form granulomas, with lymphocytes surrounding the infected macrophages. When other macrophages attack the infected macrophage, they fuse together to form a giant multinucleated cell in the alveolar lumen. The granuloma may prevent dissemination of the mycobacteria and provide a local environment for interaction of cells of the immune system. However, more recent evidence suggests that the bacteria use the granulomas to avoid destruction by the host's immune system. Macrophages and dendritic cells in the granulomas are unable to present antigen to lymphocytes; thus the immune response is suppressed. Bacteria inside the granuloma can become dormant, resulting in latent infection. Another feature of the granulomas is the development of abnormal cell death (necrosis) in the center of tubercles. To the naked eye, this has the texture of soft, white cheese and is termed caseous necrosis.
If TB bacteria gain entry to the blood stream from an area of damaged tissue, they can spread throughout the body and set up many foci of infection, all appearing as tiny, white tubercles in the tissues. This severe form of TB disease, most common in young children and those with HIV, is called miliary tuberculosis. People with this disseminated TB have a high fatality rate even with treatment (about 30%).
In many people, the infection waxes and wanes. Tissue destruction and necrosis are often balanced by healing and fibrosis. Affected tissue is replaced by scarring and cavities filled with caseous necrotic material. During active disease, some of these cavities are joined to the air passages (bronchi) and this material can be coughed up. It contains living bacteria, and thus can spread the infection. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics kills bacteria and allows healing to take place. Upon cure, affected areas are eventually replaced by scar tissue.
Diagnosing active tuberculosis based only on signs and symptoms is difficult, as is diagnosing the disease in those who have a weakened immune system. A diagnosis of TB should, however, be considered in those with signs of lung disease or constitutional symptoms lasting longer than two weeks. A chest X-ray and multiple sputum cultures for acid-fast bacilli are typically part of the initial evaluation. Interferon-γ release assays and tuberculin skin tests are of little use in the developing world. Interferon gamma release assays (IGRA) have similar limitations in those with HIV.
A definitive diagnosis of TB is made by identifying M. tuberculosis in a clinical sample (e.g., sputum, pus, or a tissue biopsy). However, the difficult culture process for this slow-growing organism can take two to six weeks for blood or sputum culture. Thus, treatment is often begun before cultures are confirmed.
Nucleic acid amplification tests and adenosine deaminase testing may allow rapid diagnosis of TB. These tests, however, are not routinely recommended, as they rarely alter how a person is treated. Blood tests to detect antibodies are not specific or sensitive, so they are not recommended.
The Mantoux tuberculin skin test is often used to screen people at high risk for TB. Those who have been previously immunized with the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine may have a false-positive test result. The test may be falsely negative in those with sarcoidosis, Hodgkin's lymphoma, malnutrition, and most notably, active tuberculosis. Interferon gamma release assays, on a blood sample, are recommended in those who are positive to the Mantoux test. These are not affected by immunization or most environmental mycobacteria, so they generate fewer false-positive results. However, they are affected by M. szulgai, M. marinum, and M. kansasii. IGRAs may increase sensitivity when used in addition to the skin test, but may be less sensitive than the skin test when used alone.
Tuberculosis prevention and control efforts rely primarily on the vaccination of infants and the detection and appropriate treatment of active cases. The World Health Organization has achieved some success with improved treatment regimens, and a small decrease in case numbers. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening people who are at high risk for latent tuberculosis with either tuberculin skin tests or interferon-gamma release assays.
The only available vaccine as of 2011 is Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). In children it decreases the risk of getting the infection by 20% and the risk of infection turning into active disease by nearly 60%.
It is the most widely used vaccine worldwide, with more than 90% of all children being vaccinated. The immunity it induces decreases after about ten years. As tuberculosis is uncommon in most of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, BCG is administered to only those people at high risk. Part of the reasoning against the use of the vaccine is that it makes the tuberculin skin test falsely positive, reducing the test's usefulness as a screening tool. A number of new vaccines are currently in development.
The World Health Organization declared TB a "global health emergency" in 1993, and in 2006, the Stop TB Partnership developed a Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis that aimed to save 14 million lives between its launch and 2015. A number of targets they set were not achieved by 2015, mostly due to the increase in HIV-associated tuberculosis and the emergence of multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis. A tuberculosis classification system developed by the American Thoracic Society is used primarily in public health programs.
Treatment of TB uses antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Effective TB treatment is difficult, due to the unusual structure and chemical composition of the mycobacterial cell wall, which hinders the entry of drugs and makes many antibiotics ineffective.
Latent TB is treated with either isoniazid alone, or a combination of isoniazid with either rifampicin or rifapentine. The treatment takes at least three months. People with latent infections are treated to prevent them from progressing to active TB disease later in life.
The recommended treatment of new-onset pulmonary tuberculosis, as of 2010, is six months of a combination of antibiotics containing rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol for the first two months, and only rifampicin and isoniazid for the last four months. Where resistance to isoniazid is high, ethambutol may be added for the last four months as an alternative.
If tuberculosis recurs, testing to determine which antibiotics it is sensitive to is important before determining treatment. If multiple drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is detected, treatment with at least four effective antibiotics for 18 to 24 months is recommended.
Directly observed therapy, i.e., having a health care provider watch the person take their medications, is recommended by the WHO in an effort to reduce the number of people not appropriately taking antibiotics. The evidence to support this practice over people simply taking their medications independently is of poor quality. There is no strong evidence indicating that directly observed therapy improves the number of people who were cured or the number of people who complete their medicine. Moderate quality evidence suggests that there is also no difference if people are observed at home versus at a clinic, or by a family member versus a health care worker. Methods to remind people of the importance of treatment and appointments may result in a small but important improvement.
Primary resistance occurs when a person becomes infected with a resistant strain of TB. A person with fully susceptible MTB may develop secondary (acquired) resistance during therapy because of inadequate treatment, not taking the prescribed regimen appropriately (lack of compliance), or using low-quality medication. Drug-resistant TB is a serious public health issue in many developing countries, as its treatment is longer and requires more expensive drugs. MDR-TB is defined as resistance to the two most effective first-line TB drugs: rifampicin and isoniazid. Extensively drug-resistant TB is also resistant to three or more of the six classes of second-line drugs. Totally drug-resistant TB is resistant to all currently used drugs. It was first observed in 2003 in Italy, but not widely reported until 2012, and has also been found in Iran and India. Bedaquiline is tentatively supported for use in multiple drug-resistant TB.
XDR-TB is a term sometimes used to define extensively resistant TB, and constitutes one in ten cases of MDR-TB. Cases of XDR TB have been identified in more than 90% of countries.
Progression from TB infection to overt TB disease occurs when the bacilli overcome the immune system defenses and begin to multiply. In primary TB disease (some 1–5% of cases), this occurs soon after the initial infection. However, in the majority of cases, a latent infection occurs with no obvious symptoms. These dormant bacilli produce active tuberculosis in 5–10% of these latent cases, often many years after infection.
The risk of reactivation increases with immunosuppression, such as that caused by infection with HIV. In people coinfected with M. tuberculosis and HIV, the risk of reactivation increases to 10% per year. Studies using DNA fingerprinting of M. tuberculosis strains have shown reinfection contributes more substantially to recurrent TB than previously thought, with estimates that it might account for more than 50% of reactivated cases in areas where TB is common. The chance of death from a case of tuberculosis is about 4% as of 2008, down from 8% in 1995.
Roughly one-quarter of the world's population has been infected with M. tuberculosis, with new infections occurring in about 1% of the population each year. However, most infections with M. tuberculosis do not cause TB disease, and 90–95% of infections remain asymptomatic. In 2012, an estimated 8.6 million chronic cases were active. In 2010, 8.8 million new cases of TB were diagnosed, and 1.20–1.45 million deaths occurred, most of these occurring in developing countries. Of these 1.45 million deaths, about 0.35 million occur in those also infected with HIV.
Tuberculosis is the second-most common cause of death from infectious disease (after those due to HIV/AIDS). The total number of tuberculosis cases has been decreasing since 2005, while new cases have decreased since 2002. China has achieved particularly dramatic progress, with about an 80% reduction in its TB mortality rate between 1990 and 2010. The number of new cases has declined by 17% between 2004 and 2014. Tuberculosis is more common in developing countries; about 80% of the population in many Asian and African countries test positive in tuberculin tests, while only 5–10% of the US population test positive. Hopes of totally controlling the disease have been dramatically dampened because of a number of factors, including the difficulty of developing an effective vaccine, the expensive and time-consuming diagnostic process, the necessity of many months of treatment, the increase in HIV-associated tuberculosis, and the emergence of drug-resistant cases in the 1980s.
In 2007, the country with the highest estimated incidence rate of TB was Swaziland, with 1,200 cases per 100,000 people. India had the largest total incidence, with an estimated 2.0 million new cases. In developed countries, tuberculosis is less common and is found mainly in urban areas. Rates per 100,000 people in different areas of the world were: globally 178, Africa 332, the Americas 36, Eastern Mediterranean 173, Europe 63, Southeast Asia 278, and Western Pacific 139 in 2010. In Canada and Australia, tuberculosis is many times more common among the aboriginal peoples, especially in remote areas. In the United States Native Americans have a fivefold greater mortality from TB, and racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 84% of all reported TB cases.
The rate of TB varies with age. In Africa, it primarily affects adolescents and young adults. However, in countries where incidence rates have declined dramatically (such as the United States), TB is mainly a disease of older people and the immunocompromised (risk factors are listed above). Worldwide, 22 "high-burden" states or countries together experience 80% of cases as well as 83% of deaths.
Tuberculosis has existed since antiquity. The oldest unambiguously detected M. tuberculosis gives evidence of the disease in the remains of bison in Wyoming dated to around 17,000 years ago. However, whether tuberculosis originated in bovines, then transferred to humans, or whether both bovine and human tuberculosis diverged from a common ancestor, remains unclear. A comparison of the genes of M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) in humans to MTBC in animals suggests humans did not acquire MTBC from animals during animal domestication, as researchers previously believed. Both strains of the tuberculosis bacteria share a common ancestor, which could have infected humans even before the Neolithic Revolution. Skeletal remains show some prehistoric humans (4000 BC) had TB, and researchers have found tubercular decay in the spines of Egyptian mummies dating from 3000–2400 BC. Genetic studies suggest the presence of TB in the Americas from about 100 AD.
Before the Industrial Revolution, folklore often associated tuberculosis with vampires. When one member of a family died from the disease, the other infected members would lose their health slowly. People believed this was caused by the original person with TB draining the life from the other family members.
Although Richard Morton established the pulmonary form associated with tubercles as a pathology in 1689, due to the variety of its symptoms, TB was not identified as a single disease until the 1820s. J. L. Schönlein coined the name "tuberculosis" in 1839. Between 1838 and 1845, Dr. John Croghan, the owner of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky from 1839 onwards, brought a number of people with tuberculosis into the cave in the hope of curing the disease with the constant temperature and purity of the cave air; each died within a year. Hermann Brehmer opened the first TB sanatorium in 1859 in Görbersdorf (now Sokołowsko) in Silesia.
Robert Koch identified and described the bacillus causing tuberculosis, M. tuberculosis, on 24 March 1882. He received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1905 for this discovery. Koch did not believe the cattle and human tuberculosis diseases were similar, which delayed the recognition of infected milk as a source of infection. During the first half of the 1900s the risk of transmission from this source was dramatically reduced after the application of the pasteurization process. Koch announced a glycerine extract of the tubercle bacilli as a "remedy" for tuberculosis in 1890, calling it "tuberculin". While it was not effective, it was later successfully adapted as a screening test for the presence of pre-symptomatic tuberculosis. World Tuberculosis Day is marked on 24 March each year, the anniversary of Koch's original scientific announcement.
Albert Calmette and Camille Guérin achieved the first genuine success in immunization against tuberculosis in 1906, using attenuated bovine-strain tuberculosis. It was called bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG). The BCG vaccine was first used on humans in 1921 in France, but achieved widespread acceptance in the US, Great Britain, and Germany only after World War II.
Tuberculosis caused widespread public concern in the 19th and early 20th centuries as the disease became common among the urban poor. In 1815 one in four deaths in England was due to "consumption". By 1918, TB still caused one in six deaths in France. After TB was determined to be contagious, in the 1880s, it was put on a notifiable-disease list in Britain; campaigns started to stop people from spitting in public places, and the infected poor were "encouraged" to enter sanatoria that resembled prisons (the sanatoria for the middle and upper classes offered excellent care and constant medical attention). Whatever the benefits of the "fresh air" and labor in the sanatoria, even under the best conditions, 50% of those who entered died within five years (c. 1916). When the Medical Research Council formed in Britain in 1913, it initially focused on tuberculosis research.
In Europe, rates of tuberculosis began to rise in the early 1600s to a peak level in the 1800s, when it caused nearly 25% of all deaths. By the 1950s mortality in Europe had decreased about 90%. Improvements in sanitation, vaccination, and other public-health measures began significantly reducing rates of tuberculosis even before the arrival of streptomycin and other antibiotics, although the disease remained a significant threat. In 1946 the development of the antibiotic streptomycin made effective treatment and cure of TB a reality. Prior to the introduction of this medication, the only treatment was surgical intervention, including the "pneumothorax technique", which involved collapsing an infected lung to "rest" it and to allow tuberculous lesions to heal.
Because of the emergence of MDR-TB, surgery has been re-introduced for certain cases of TB infections. It involves the removal of infected chest cavities ("bullae") in the lungs to reduce the number of bacteria and to increase exposure of the remaining bacteria to antibiotics in the bloodstream. Hopes of completely eliminating TB ended with the rise of drug-resistant strains in the 1980s. The subsequent resurgence of tuberculosis resulted in the declaration of a global health emergency by the World Health Organization in 1993.
Tuberculosis has been known by many names from the technical to the familiar. Phthisis (Φθισις) is a Greek word for consumption, an old term for pulmonary tuberculosis; around 460 BCE, Hippocrates described phthisis as a disease of dry seasons. The abbreviation "TB" is short for tubercle bacillus. "Consumption" was the most common nineteenth century English word for the disease. The Latin root "con" meaning "completely" is linked to "sumere" meaning "to take up from under." In The Life and Death of Mr Badman by John Bunyan, the author calls consumption "the captain of all these men of death." "Great white plague" has also been used.
Tuberculosis was for centuries associated with poetic and artistic qualities among those infected, and was also known as "the romantic disease". Major artistic figures such as the poets John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Edgar Allan Poe, the composer Frédéric Chopin, the playwright Anton Chekhov, the novelists Franz Kafka, Katherine Mansfield, Charlotte Brontë, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Mann, W. Somerset Maugham, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and the artists Alice Neel, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Elizabeth Siddal, Marie Bashkirtseff, Edvard Munch, Aubrey Beardsley and Amedeo Modigliani either had the disease or were surrounded by people who did. A widespread belief was that tuberculosis assisted artistic talent. Physical mechanisms proposed for this effect included the slight fever and toxaemia that it caused, allegedly helping them to see life more clearly and to act decisively.
Tuberculosis formed an often-reused theme in literature, as in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, set in a sanatorium; in music, as in Van Morrison's song "T.B. Sheets"; in opera, as in Puccini's La bohème and Verdi's La Traviata; in art, as in Monet's painting of his first wife Camille on her deathbed; and in film, such as the 1945 The Bells of St. Mary's starring Ingrid Bergman as a nun with tuberculosis.
The World Health Organization, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and US government are subsidizing a fast-acting diagnostic tuberculosis test for use in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to being fast-acting, the test can determine if there is resistance to the antibiotic rifampicin which may indicate multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and is accurate in those who are also infected with HIV. Many resource-poor places as of 2011 have access to only sputum microscopy.
India had the highest total number of TB cases worldwide in 2010, in part due to poor disease management within the private and public health care sector. Programs such as the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program are working to reduce TB levels amongst people receiving public health care.
A 2014 the EIU-healthcare report that the need to address apathy and urging for increased funding. The report cites among others Lucica Ditui "[TB] is like an orphan. It has been neglected even in countries with a high burden and often forgotten by donors and those investing in health interventions."
Slow progress has led to frustration, expressed by the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – Mark Dybul: "we have the tools to end TB as a pandemic and public health threat on the planet, but we are not doing it." Several international organizations are pushing for more transparency in treatment, and more countries are implementing mandatory reporting of cases to the government, although adherence is often sketchy. Commercial treatment providers may at times overprescribe second-line drugs as well as supplementary treatment, promoting demands for further regulations. The government of Brazil provides universal TB-care, which reduces this problem. Conversely, falling rates of TB-infection may not relate to the number of programs directed at reducing infection rates but may be tied to increased level of education, income, and health of the population. Costs of the disease, as calculated by the World Bank in 2009 may exceed 150 billion USD per year in "high burden" countries. Lack of progress eradicating the disease may also be due to lack of patient follow-up – as among the 250M rural migrants in China.
Slow progress in preventing the disease may in part be due to stigma associated with TB. Stigma may be due to the fear of transmission from affected individuals. This stigma may additionally arise due to links between TB and poverty, and in Africa, AIDS. Such stigmatization may be both real and perceived; for example, in Ghana individuals with TB are banned from attending public gatherings.
Stigma towards TB may result in delays in seeking treatment, lower treatment compliance, and family members keeping cause of death secret – allowing the disease to spread further. In contrast, in Russia stigma was associated with increased treatment compliance. TB stigma also affects socially marginalized individuals to a greater degree and varies between regions.
One way to decrease stigma may be through the promotion of "TB clubs", where those infected may share experiences and offer support, or through counseling. Some studies have shown TB education programs to be effective in decreasing stigma, and may thus be effective in increasing treatment adherence. Despite this, studies on the relationship between reduced stigma and mortality are lacking as of 2010, and similar efforts to decrease stigma surrounding AIDS have been minimally effective. Some have claimed the stigma to be worse than the disease, and healthcare providers may unintentionally reinforce stigma, as those with TB are often perceived as difficult or otherwise undesirable. A greater understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of tuberculosis may also help with stigma reduction.
The BCG vaccine has limitations, and research to develop new TB vaccines is ongoing. A number of potential candidates are currently in phase I and II clinical trials. Two main approaches are being used to attempt to improve the efficacy of available vaccines. One approach involves adding a subunit vaccine to BCG, while the other strategy is attempting to create new and better live vaccines. MVA85A, an example of a subunit vaccine, currently in trials in South Africa, is based on a genetically modified vaccinia virus. Vaccines are hoped to play a significant role in treatment of both latent and active disease.
To encourage further discovery, researchers and policymakers are promoting new economic models of vaccine development, including prizes, tax incentives, and advance market commitments. A number of groups, including the Stop TB Partnership, the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, and the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, are involved with research. Among these, the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation received a gift of more than $280 million (US) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and license an improved vaccine against tuberculosis for use in high burden countries.
A number of medications are being studied for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, including bedaquiline and delamanid. Bedaquiline received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in late 2012. The safety and effectiveness of these new agents are still uncertain, because they are based on the results of relatively small studies. However, existing data suggest that patients taking bedaquiline in addition to standard TB therapy are five times more likely to die than those without the new drug, which has resulted in medical journal articles raising health policy questions about why the FDA approved the drug and whether financial ties to the company making bedaquiline influenced physicians' support for its use.
Mycobacteria infect many different animals, including birds, rodents, and reptiles. The subspecies Mycobacterium tuberculosis, though, is rarely present in wild animals. An effort to eradicate bovine tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis from the cattle and deer herds of New Zealand has been relatively successful. Efforts in Great Britain have been less successful.
As of 2015, tuberculosis appears to be widespread among captive elephants in the US. It is believed that the animals originally acquired the disease from humans, a process called reverse zoonosis. Because the disease can spread through the air to infect both humans and other animals, it is a public health concern affecting circuses and zoos.
These analyses indicate that smokers are almost twice as likely to be infected with TB and to progress to active disease (RR of about 1.5 for latent TB infection (LTBI) and RR of ∼2.0 for TB disease). Smokers are also twice as likely to die from TB (RR of about 2.0 for TB mortality), but data are difficult to interpret because of heterogeneity in the results across studies.
'If you don’t cry when Bing Crosby tells Ingrid Bergman she has tuberculosis', Joseph McBride wrote in 1973, 'I never want to meet you, and that's that.'
Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is a vaccine primarily used against tuberculosis (TB). In countries where tuberculosis or leprosy is common, one dose is recommended in healthy babies as close to the time of birth as possible. In areas where tuberculosis is not common, only children at high risk are typically immunized, while suspected cases of tuberculosis are individually tested for and treated. Adults who do not have tuberculosis and have not been previously immunized but are frequently exposed may be immunized as well. BCG also has some effectiveness against Buruli ulcer infection and other nontuberculous mycobacteria infections. Additionally it is sometimes used as part of the treatment of bladder cancer.Rates of protection against tuberculosis infection vary widely and protection lasts up to twenty years. Among children it prevents about 20% from getting infected and among those who do get infected it protects half from developing disease. The vaccine is given by injection into the skin. Additional doses are not supported by evidence.Serious side effects are rare. Often there is redness, swelling, and mild pain at the site of injection. A small ulcer may also form with some scarring after healing. Side effects are more common and potentially more severe in those with poor immune function. It is not safe for use during pregnancy. The vaccine was originally developed from Mycobacterium bovis which is commonly found in cows. While it has been weakened, it is still live.The BCG vaccine was first used medically in 1921. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Between 2011 and 2014 the wholesale price was $0.16 to US$1.11 a dose in the developing world. In the United States it costs $100 to US$200. As of 2004 the vaccine is given to about 100 million children per year globally.Bedaquiline
Bedaquiline, sold under the brand name Sirturo, is a medication used to treat active tuberculosis. It is specifically used to treat multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) when other treatment cannot be used. It should be used along with at least three other medications for tuberculosis. It is used by mouth.Common side effects include nausea, joint pains, headaches, and chest pain. Serious side effects include QT prolongation, liver dysfunction, and an increased risk of death. While harm during pregnancy has not been found, it has not been well studied in this population. It is in the diarylquinoline antimycobacterial class of medications. It works by blocking the ability of M. tuberculosis to make adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP).Bedaquiline was approved for medical use in the United States in 2012. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. The cost for six months is approximately $900 USD in low income countries, $3,000 USD in middle income countries, and $30,000 USD in high income countries.Cycloserine
Cycloserine, sold under the brand name Seromycin, is an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis. Specifically it is used, along with other antituberculosis medications, for active drug resistant tuberculosis. It is given by mouth.Common side effects include allergic reactions, seizures, sleepiness, unsteadiness, and numbness. It is not recommended in people who have kidney failure, epilepsy, depression, or are alcoholics. It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe for the baby. Cycloserine is similar in structure to the amino acid d-alanine and works by interfering with the formation of the bacteria's cell wall.Cycloserine was discovered in 1954 from a type of Streptomyces. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$29.70–51.30 per month. In 2015, the cost in the United States was increased to US$3,150 a month and then decreased to US$1,050 per month.Isoniazid
Isoniazid, also known as isonicotinylhydrazide (INH), is an antibiotic used for the treatment of tuberculosis. For active tuberculosis it is often used together with rifampicin, pyrazinamide, and either streptomycin or ethambutol. For latent tuberculosis it is often used by itself. It may also be used for atypical types of mycobacteria, such as M. avium, M. kansasii, and M. xenopi. It is usually taken by mouth but may be used by injection into muscle.Common side effect include increased blood levels of liver enzymes and numbness in the hands and feet. Serious side effects may include liver inflammation. It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe for the baby. Use during breastfeeding is likely safe. Pyridoxine may be given to reduce the risk of side effects. Isoniazid works in part by disrupting the formation of the bacteria's cell wall which results in cell death.Isoniazid was first made in 1952. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Isoniazid is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.60–4.75 per month. In the United States a month of treatment costs less than $25.Mantoux test
The Mantoux test or Mendel–Mantoux test (also known as the Mantoux screening test, tuberculin sensitivity test, Pirquet test, or PPD test for purified protein derivative) is a tool for screening for tuberculosis (TB) and for tuberculosis diagnosis. It is one of the major tuberculin skin tests used around the world, largely replacing multiple-puncture tests such as the tine test. The Heaf test, a form of tine test, was used until 2005 in the UK, when it was replaced by the Mantoux test. The Mantoux test is endorsed by the American Thoracic Society and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was also used in the USSR and is now prevalent in most of the post-Soviet states.Miliary tuberculosis
Miliary tuberculosis is a form of tuberculosis that is characterized by a wide dissemination into the human body and by the tiny size of the lesions (1–5 mm). Its name comes from a distinctive pattern seen on a chest radiograph of many tiny spots distributed throughout the lung fields with the appearance similar to millet seeds—thus the term "miliary" tuberculosis. Miliary TB may infect any number of organs, including the lungs, liver, and spleen. Miliary tuberculosis is present in about 2% of all reported cases of tuberculosis and accounts for up to 20% of all extra-pulmonary tuberculosis cases.Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis
Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of tuberculosis (TB) infection caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment with at least two of the most powerful first-line anti-TB medications (drugs), isoniazid and rifampin. Some forms of TB are also resistant to second-line medications, and are called extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB).Tuberculosis is caused by infection with the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Almost one in four people in the world are infected with TB bacteria. Only when the bacteria become active do people become ill with TB. Bacteria become active as a result of anything that can reduce the person's immunity, such as HIV, advancing age, diabetes or other immunocompromising illnesses. TB can usually be treated with a course of four standard, or first-line, anti-TB drugs (i.e., isoniazid, rifampin and any fluoroquinolone).However, beginning with the first antibiotic treatment for TB in 1943, some strains of the TB bacteria developed resistance to the standard drugs through genetic changes (see mechanisms.) Currently the majority of multidrug-resistant cases of TB are due to one strain of TB bacteria called the Beijing lineage. This process accelerates if incorrect or inadequate treatments are used, leading to the development and spread of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Incorrect or inadequate treatment may be due to use of the wrong medications, use of only one medication (standard treatment is at least two drugs), not taking medication consistently or for the full treatment period (treatment is required for several months). Treatment of MDR-TB requires second-line drugs (i.e., fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, and others), which in general are less effective, more toxic and much more expensive than first-line drugs. Treatment schedules for MDR-TB involving fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides can run for 2 years, compared to the 6 months of first-line drug treatment, and cost over US$100,000. If these second-line drugs are prescribed or taken incorrectly, further resistance can develop leading to XDR-TB.
Resistant strains of TB are already present in the population, so MDR-TB can be directly transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person. In this case a previously untreated person develops a new case of MDR-TB. This is known as primary MDR-TB, and is responsible for up to 75% of cases. Acquired MDR-TB develops when a person with a non-resistant strain of TB is treated inadequately, resulting in the development of antibiotic resistance in the TB bacteria infecting them. These people can in turn infect other people with MDR-TB.MDR-TB caused an estimated 600,000 new TB cases and 240,000 deaths in 2016 and MDR-TB accounts for 4.1% of all new TB cases and 19% of previously treated cases worldwide. Globally, most MDR-TB cases occur in South America, Southern Africa, India, China, and the former Soviet Union.Treatment of MDR-TB requires treatment with second-line drugs, usually four or more anti-TB drugs for a minimum of 6 months, and possibly extending for 18–24 months if rifampin resistance has been identified in the specific strain of TB with which the patient has been infected. Under ideal program conditions, MDR-TB cure rates can approach 70%.Mycobacterium
Mycobacterium is a genus of Actinobacteria, given its own family, the Mycobacteriaceae. Over 190 species are recognized in this genus. This genus includes pathogens known to cause serious diseases in mammals, including tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and leprosy (Mycobacterium leprae) in humans. The Greek prefix myco- means "fungus," alluding to the way mycobacteria have been observed to grow in a mold-like fashion on the surface of cultures.
It is acid fast and cannot be stained by the Gram stain procedure.Mycobacterium bovis
Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) is a slow-growing (16- to 20-hour generation time) aerobic bacterium and the causative agent of tuberculosis in cattle (known as bovine TB). It is related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium which causes tuberculosis in humans. M. bovis can jump the species barrier and cause tuberculosis in humans and other mammals.Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a species of pathogenic bacteria in the family Mycobacteriaceae and the causative agent of tuberculosis. First discovered in 1882 by Robert Koch, M. tuberculosis has an unusual, waxy coating on its cell surface primarily due to the presence of mycolic acid. This coating makes the cells impervious to Gram staining, and as a result, M. tuberculosis can appear either Gram-negative or Gram-positive. Acid-fast stains such as Ziehl-Neelsen, or fluorescent stains such as auramine are used instead to identify M. tuberculosis with a microscope. The physiology of M. tuberculosis is highly aerobic and requires high levels of oxygen. Primarily a pathogen of the mammalian respiratory system, it infects the lungs. The most frequently used diagnostic methods for tuberculosis are the tuberculin skin test, acid-fast stain, culture, and polymerase chain reaction.The M. tuberculosis genome was sequenced in 1998.Pleurisy
Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is inflammation of the membranes that surround the lungs and line the chest cavity (pleurae). This can result in a sharp chest pain with breathing. Occasionally the pain may be a constant dull ache. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, cough, fever or weight loss, depending on the underlying cause.The most common cause is a viral infection. Other causes include pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, autoimmune disorders, lung cancer, following heart surgery, pancreatitis, chest trauma, and asbestosis. Occasionally the cause remains unknown. The underlying mechanism involves the rubbing together of the pleurae instead of smooth gliding. Other conditions that can produce similar symptoms include pericarditis, heart attack, cholecystitis, and pneumothorax. Diagnosis may include a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests.Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen may be used to decrease pain. Incentive spirometry may be recommended to encourage larger breaths. About one million people are affected in the United States each year. Descriptions of the condition date from at least as early as 400 BC by Hippocrates.Pott disease
Pott disease or Pott's disease is a form of tuberculosis that occurs outside the lungs whereby disease is seen in the vertebrae. Tuberculosis can affect several tissues outside the lungs including the spine, a kind of tuberculous arthritis of the intervertebral joints. The disease is named after Percivall Pott (1714–1788), a British surgeon. The lower thoracic and upper lumbar vertebrae are the areas of the spine most often affected. The formal name for the disease is tuberculous spondylitis.
Pott’s disease results from haematogenous spread of tuberculosis from other sites, often the lungs. The infection then spreads from two adjacent vertebrae into the adjoining intervertebral disc space. If only one vertebra is affected, the disc is normal, but if two are involved, the disc, which is avascular, cannot receive nutrients and collapses. In a process called caseous necrosis the disc tissue dies leading to vertebral narrowing and eventually to vertebral collapse and spinal damage. A dry soft tissue mass often forms and superinfection is rare.Rifampicin
Rifampicin, also known as rifampin, is an antibiotic used to treat several types of bacterial infections, including tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium complex, leprosy, and Legionnaires’ disease. It is almost always used together with other antibiotics, except when given to prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal disease in people who have been exposed to those bacteria. Before treating a person for a long period of time, measurements of liver enzymes and blood counts are recommended. Rifampicin may be given either by mouth or intravenously.Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. It often turns urine, sweat, and tears a red or orange color. Liver problems or allergic reactions may occur. It is part of the recommended treatment of active tuberculosis during pregnancy, though its safety in pregnancy is not known. Rifampicin is of the rifamycin group of antibiotics. It works by stopping the production of RNA by bacteria.Rifampicin was discovered in 1965, marketed in Italy in 1968, and approved in the United States in 1971. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. It is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$3.90 a month. In the United States a month of treatment is about $120. Rifampicin is made by the soil bacterium Amycolatopsis rifamycinica.Robert Koch
Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch (English: ; German: [kɔx]; 11 December 1843 – 27 May 1910) was a German physician and microbiologist. As the founder of modern bacteriology, he identified the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and gave experimental support for the concept of infectious disease, which included experiments on humans and animals. Koch created and improved laboratory technologies and techniques in the field of microbiology, and made key discoveries in public health. His research led to the creation of Koch's postulates, a series of four generalized principles linking specific microorganisms to specific diseases that remain today the "gold standard" in medical microbiology. For his research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905. The Robert Koch Institute is named in his honor.Sanatorium
A sanatorium (also called sanitarium and, rarely sanitorium) is a medical facility for long-term illness, most typically associated with treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in the late-nineteenth and twentieth century before the discovery of antibiotics. A distinction is sometimes made between "sanitarium" (a kind of health resort, as in the Battle Creek Sanitarium) and "sanatorium" (a hospital).Streptomycin
Streptomycin is an antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections. This includes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium complex, endocarditis, brucellosis, Burkholderia infection, plague, tularemia, and rat bite fever. For active tuberculosis it is often given together with isoniazid, rifampicin, and pyrazinamide. It is given by injection into a vein or muscle.Common side effects include feeling like the world is spinning, vomiting, numbness of the face, fever, and rash. Use during pregnancy may result in permanent deafness in the developing baby. Use appears to be safe while breastfeeding. It is not recommended in people with myasthenia gravis or other neuromuscular disorders. Streptomycin is an aminoglycoside. It works by blocking the ability of 30S ribosomal subunits to make proteins, which results in bacterial death.Streptomycin was discovered in 1943 from Streptomyces griseus. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, which lists the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. The wholesale cost in the developing world is between US$0.38 and $4.39 per day. In the United States, a course of treatment costs more than $200.Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The signs and symptoms of syphilis vary depending in which of the four stages it presents (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). The primary stage classically presents with a single chancre (a firm, painless, non-itchy skin ulceration) but there may be multiple sores. In secondary syphilis, a diffuse rash occurs, which frequently involves the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. There may also be sores in the mouth or vagina. In latent syphilis, which can last for years, there are few or no symptoms. In tertiary syphilis, there are gummas (soft, non-cancerous growths), neurological problems, or heart symptoms. Syphilis has been known as "the great imitator" as it may cause symptoms similar to many other diseases.Syphilis is most commonly spread through sexual activity. It may also be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis. Other diseases caused by the Treponema bacteria include yaws (subspecies pertenue), pinta (subspecies carateum), and nonvenereal endemic syphilis (subspecies endemicum). These three diseases are not typically sexually transmitted. Diagnosis is usually made by using blood tests; the bacteria can also be detected using dark field microscopy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.) recommend all pregnant women be tested.The risk of sexual transmission of syphilis can be reduced by using a latex condom. Syphilis can be effectively treated with antibiotics. The preferred antibiotic for most cases is benzathine benzylpenicillin injected into a muscle. In those who have a severe penicillin allergy, doxycycline or tetracycline may be used. In those with neurosyphilis, intravenous benzylpenicillin or ceftriaxone is recommended. During treatment people may develop fever, headache, and muscle pains, a reaction known as Jarisch-Herxheimer.In 2015, about 45.4 million people were infected with syphilis, with 6 million new cases. During 2015, it caused about 107,000 deaths, down from 202,000 in 1990. After decreasing dramatically with the availability of penicillin in the 1940s, rates of infection have increased since the turn of the millennium in many countries, often in combination with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This is believed to be partly due to increased promiscuity, prostitution, decreasing use of condoms, and unsafe sexual practices among men who have sex with men. In 2015, Cuba became the first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of syphilis.The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (or simply the Global Fund) is an international financing organization that aims to “attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.” A public-private partnership, the organization maintains its secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization began operations in January 2002. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was one of the first private foundations among many bilateral donors to provide seed money for the partnership.The Global Fund is the world's largest financier of AIDS, TB, and malaria prevention, treatment, and care programs. As of July 2018, the organization had disbursed more than USD 38 billion to support these programs. According to the organization, in 2017 it financed the distribution of 197 million insecticide-treated nets to combat malaria, provided anti-tuberculosis treatment for 5 million people, supported 17.5 million people on antiretroviral therapy for AIDS, and since its founding saved 27 million lives worldwide.The Global Fund is a financing mechanism rather than an implementing agency. Programs are implemented by in-country partners such as ministries of health, while the Global Fund secretariat, whose staff only have an office in Geneva, monitor the programs. Implementation is overseen by Country Coordinating Mechanisms, country-level committees consisting of in-country stakeholders that need to include, according to Global Fund requirements, a broad spectrum of representatives from government, NGOs, faith-based organizations, the private sector, and people living with the diseases. This system has kept the Global Fund secretariat smaller than other international bureaucracies. The model has also raised concerns about conflict of interest, as some of the stakeholders represented on the Country Coordinating Mechanisms may also receive money from the Global Fund, either as grant recipients, sub-recipients, private persons (e.g. for travel or participation at seminars) or contractors.
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