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WHO/CDS/TB/99.272

TUBERCULOSIS A Manual for Medical Students

By NADIA AIT-KHALED

and DONALD A. ENARSON

World Health Organization International Union Against

Geneva Tuberculosis and Lung

Disease Paris


© World Health Organization 2003

All rights reserved.

The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers’ products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted, the names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.

The World Health Organization does not warrant that the information contained in this publication is complete and correct and shall not be liable for any damages incurred as a result of its use.

The named authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this publication.


TUBERCULOSIS A MANUAL FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS

FOREWORD

This manual aims to inform medical students and medical practitioners about the best practices for managing tuberculosis patients, taking into account the community interventions defined by the National Tuberculosis Programme.

It contains basic information that can be used:

in

discussions; training medical students, in supervised group work, presentations and in refresher courses for practising physicians, and for their personal study.

The manual has three sections:

The

bacillus, first

its chapter

mode combines

of transmission, essential

and basic

the knowledge

immunology, about

bacteriology the tubercle and histology of tuberculosis; The second chapter is devoted to describing the disease in the individual

patient: clinical aspects, treatment and prevention; Chapter

epidemiology three

of describes

tuberculosis the basis

and for

its control tuberculosis

through control

the National in the community:

Tuberculosis Programme.

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TUBERCULOSIS A MANUAL FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This manual would not have been possible without the comments and suggestions of colleagues with considerable experience as educators and managers of National Tuberculosis Programmes.

We would particularly like to thank the following people for their contribution:

Professor Elisabeth Aka Danguy Professor Oumou Younoussa Bah-Sow Professor Fadila Boulahbal Professor Anissa Bouhadef Professor Pierre Chaulet Dr Christopher Dye Professor Martin Gninafon Professor Abdoul Almamy Hane Professor Ghali Iraki Professor Bah Keita Dr Salah-Eddine Ottmani Dr Hans L. Rieder

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TUBERCULOSIS A MANUAL FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS

CONTENTS

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Chapter 1: The basic science of tuberculosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Transmission of the tubercle bacillus in humans and the immune

response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Tuberculosis bacteriology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Tuberculosis histology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Chapter 2: Tuberculosis in the individual patient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Pulmonary tuberculosis in adults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Extrapulmonary tuberculosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Specific aspects of childhood tuberculosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Tuberculosis and HIV infection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Prevention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Chapter 3: Tuberculosis as it affects the community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

Epidemiology of tuberculosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 National Tuberculosis Programme principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Organization of treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Organization of case-finding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Prevention of tuberculosis and tuberculous infection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 Evaluation of a National Tuberculosis Programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

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TUBERCULOSIS A MANUAL FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS

CHAPTER 1

THE BASIC SCIENCE OF TUBERCULOSIS

TRANSMISSION OF THE TUBERCLE BACILLUS IN HUMANS AND THE IMMUNE RESPONSE

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease spread from one person to another principally by airborne transmission.The causal agent is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the tubercle bacillus).

In a small proportion of cases, the bacillus is transmitted to humans from infected cows through drinking non-sterilized milk.This mode of transmission plays only a minor role in the natural history of the disease in humans.

Tuberculosis can affect any organ in the body. Pulmonary tuberculosis is the most frequent site of involvement; extrapulmonary tuberculosis is less frequent. Only pulmonary tuberculosis is infectious.

The natural history of tuberculosis

Sources of infection The main reservoir of M. tuberculosis is the patient with pulmonary tuberculosis. Such patients may have pulmonary “cavities” that are rich in bacilli (100 million bacilli in a cavity of approximately 2cm in diameter).

The diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis is straightforward in such patients, as they almost always have chronic respiratory symptoms such as cough and sputum production.

The definitive diagnosis is simple when the patient has large numbers of bacilli in the sputum (more than 5000 bacilli/ml), as these can be seen on microscopic examination of a sputum smear; these patients are termed “smear-positive”.

Practical point: Patients with cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis are almost always “smear- positive”, and are the main source of infection in the transmission of tuberculosis.

Exposure and primary infection When patients with pulmonary tuberculosis speak, and particularly when they cough or sneeze, they produce an aerosol of droplets from the bronchial tree, each of which contains a number of bacilli: these droplets are infectious.

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TUBERCULOSIS A MANUAL FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS

CHAPTER I

The number of infectious droplets projected into the atmosphere by a patient is very high when coughing (3500) or sneezing (1 million). When they come into contact with the air these droplets rapidly dry and become very light particles, still containing live bacilli, that remain suspended in the air. In an enclosed space, the droplets can remain suspended for a long time, and the bacilli remain alive for several hours in the dark: these are “infectious particles”.

As direct sunlight rapidly destroys the bacilli, letting air and sunshine into rooms where tuberculosis patients live can reduce the risk of infection for those living in contact with them.

When people live or sleep near a patient, they are at risk of inhaling infectious particles.When a person inhales infectious particles, the large particles, are deposited on the mucous of the nasopharynx or the tracheo-bronchial tree and are expelled by mucociliary clearance.The smallest particles, less than a few microns in diameter, can penetrate to the alveoli.

The closer and the more prolonged the contact with an infectious patient, the greater the risk of infection, as this risk is linked to the density of the bacilli in the air the individual breathes and the amount of the air inhaled. As a result, children living in the same household as a source of infection are at a particular risk of becoming infected.

Practical point: Two essential factors determine the risk of transmission of tubercle bacilli to a healthy subject: the concentration of the infecting droplets suspended in the air, and the period of time during which the exposed individual breathes this contaminated air.

When a few virulent tubercle bacilli penetrate into the pulmonary alveoli of a healthy person, they are phagocytosed by the alveolar macrophages, in which they multiply. Other macrophages and monocytes are attracted, and participate in the process of defence against infection.The resulting “infectious focus”, made up of the inflammatory cells, is referred to as a primary focus.The bacilli and the antigens that they liberate are drained by the macrophages through the lymphatic system to the nearest lymph node. Inside the lymph node, the T lymphocytes identify the M. tuberculosis antigens and are transformed into specific T lymphocytes, leading to liberation of lymphokines and activation of macrophages that inhibit the growth of the phagocytosed bacilli. The inflammatory tissue formed in the primary focus is replaced by fibrous scar tissue in which the macrophages containing bacilli are isolated and die.

This primary focus is the site of tuberculosis-specific caseating necrosis. This focus contains 1000–10000 bacilli which gradually lose their viability and multiply more and more slowly. Some bacilli can survive for months or years: these are known as “latent bacilli”.

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