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Preliminary   > Social Justice   >   Health   >   Diseases

Why in news?

  • A trial conducted in India highlights the importance of nutritional supplementation in significantly reducing the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) among household contacts of TB patients and lowering mortality rates in those diagnosed with active pulmonary TB.

More about the news:

  • What is the importance of nutrition in tuberculosis (TB)?
    • Under nutrition accounts for more than 40% of new TB cases annually surpassing other risk factors like diabetes, HIV infection, smoking and alcohol.
      • For example, research by the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) demonstrated that TB patients weighing under 35 kg had four times higher mortality than those weighing over 45 kg.

What is Tuberculosis?

As per WHO, every day over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and about 28,000 people fall ill with this disease.

Deaths from tuberculosis have risen in 2020 for the first time in more than a decade. 

India accounts for roughly 28% of TB cases in the world, as per the Global TB Report 2022.

  • TB is one of the world's deadliest infectious killers.
  • Tuberculosis is an infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It can practically affect any organ of the body.
  • Dr. Robert Koch discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis that causes TB, and his discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
  • The most common ones are lungs, pleura (lining around the lungs), lymph nodes, intestines, spine, and brain.


  • It is an airborne infection that spreads through close contact with the infected, especially in densely populated spaces with poor ventilation.


  • Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.


  • TB is a treatable and curable disease.
  • It is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.

Drug resistance:

  • Drug resistance emerges when anti-TB medicines are used inappropriately, through incorrect prescription by health care providers, poor quality drugs, and patients stopping treatment prematurely.
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs.
  • MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs such as Bedaquiline.
  • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options.


  • Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a vaccine for TB.


Consider the following statements:

1. Tuberculosis (TB) is a viral disease that affects the lungs

2. It is spread from person to person through the air.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2