Tuberculosis: Immune System and Ongoing Research

Topics: Immune system, Tuberculosis, Infection Pages: 1 (274 words) Published: September 1, 2008
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that triggers the formation of small swellings on mucous membranes. The disease itself is caused a bacillus called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and mainly affects the lungs, however the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, the genitourinary system, bones, joints and even the skin also has a chance of being affected. Our body’s immune system responds to this infectious disease by having a group of white blood cells to try to identify the disease causing bacterium and destroy it. Another way our body responds to this disease is to attempt to digest the bacterium that causes the tuberculosis disease. The body also responds if infected with the tuberculosis disease by showing the following symptoms: fever, fatigue, night sweats, loss of appetite, and loss of weight, coughing, chest pains, and production of blood-stained sputum.

Even though treatments for the disease were developed since the 1924, there is still ongoing research by scientists to help us treat Tuberculosis. One recent application used to treat this disease is tuberculosis vaccine called MVA85A. The MV85A vaccine was developed by a group of Oxford University researchers and is not available to the public yet because it is still undergoing trials for safety and efficiency. The MV85A vaccine is a vaccine for the prevention of tuberculosis itself. The MV85A vaccine works by producing high levels of T cells which fight the disease. The MV85A vaccine is said to be used alongside the already active vaccine BCG because together they produce more T cells and the higher level of T cells gives the body a higher success rate in fighting the disease.
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