ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tuberculosis. Coloured X-ray of the chest of a patient with primary tuberculosis (TB). Lymph nodes (centre left, black) have become inflamed, a condition known as lymphadenopathy. TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is spread by coughing and sneezing. The bacteria enters the lung where, in healthy individuals, it is attacked by cells of the body's immune system. The bacteria are able to survive inside these cells, where they may stay dormant, causing no symptoms. During periods when the patient's immune system is weakened they may cause active disease. Symptoms of the active disease include fever, weight loss and the coughing up of blood. Treatment is with long-term antibiotics.
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