Overview of the etiology, epidemiology, clinic, diagnostics and treatment of tuberculosis

Rugilė Grincevičiūtė, Ieva Karaliūtė, Raimonda Putnaitė

Faculty of Medicine of the Medical Academy of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences


Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are about 10 million new cases and 1,4 million deaths from tuberculosis each year. This disease usually affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also damage other parts of the body (extrapulmonary TB). Tuberculosis is spread when people, who are sick with TB, expel M. tuberculosis into the air (for instance, by sneezing or coughing). The symptoms of this disease include productive cough, hemoptysis, fever, night sweats, abnormal fatigue, weight loss. The main methods to diagnose latent TB are the Mantoux tuberculin skin test and interferon gamma release assay. The fundamental diagnostic methods of active TB are sputum cytology, culture and genetic testing. In this article, we will review the etiology, epidemiology, clinic, diagnostics and treatment options of tuberculosis.

Keywords: infectious disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, tuberculosis, Mantoux tuberculin skin test, interferon gamma release assay.