What is Tuberculosis (TB) and How to Use the Tuberculosis (TB) Rapid Test Kit? - Vitrosens Biotechnology - Human and Animal Health Rapid Test Kits

What is Tuberculosis (TB) and How to Use the Tuberculosis (TB) Rapid Test Kit?

30 March 2023

What is Tuberculosis (TB) and How to Use the Tuberculosis (TB) Rapid Test Kit?

What is Tuberculosis TB and How to Use the Tuberculosis TB Rapid Test Kit

Despite being a preventable and curable disease, tuberculosis remains among the deadliest infectious diseases in the world, with more than 10 million cases and 1.5 million deaths each year. Since the emergence of the first human infection in Africa around 5000 to 9000 years ago, tuberculosis (TB) has been a persistent challenge over the course of human history with its infectious nature, high mortality rate, complex host-pathogen interaction, chronic progression, and the need for long-term treatment. Spreading rapidly through the trade routes, tuberculosis reached an epidemic presence across Europe and North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. By the late 19th century, tuberculosis (TB) had infected around 70-90% of the urban populations in these continents, and approximately 80% of those that developed an active tuberculosis infection died. Although mortality rates have declined significantly since the late 19th century, tuberculosis is still one of the leading infectious causes of death worldwide. Given the growing resistance to available drugs, the availability of rapid, accurate, innovative, and affordable diagnostic devices for the detection of tuberculosis is of utmost importance for preventing and managing outbreaks. Read along to learn more about tuberculosis (TB), its global incidence, its symptoms, and how it can be tested with the Tuberculosis (TB) Rapid Test Kit.

What is Tuberculosis TB and How to Use the Tuberculosis TB Rapid Test Kit 3


What Causes Tuberculosis (TB)?


What Causes Tuberculosis TB

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a species of pathogenic bacteria in the family Mycobacteriaceae. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, also known as Koch’s bacillus, is a nonmotile aerobic bacteria that was discovered by Robert Koch in 1882. Its unique cell wall is suggested to contribute to its high desiccation tolerance and growing antibiotic resistance. Tuberculosis (TB) primarily transmits through the droplets that are released into the air when a person with an active infection coughs, sneezes, sings, spits, and talks. Depending on the environment, the bacteria can stay in the air for up to a few hours. Once it enters the host body, Mycobacterium tuberculosis often infects the lungs. However, it can also affect or spread to other organs, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine and cause extrapulmonary tuberculosis.

What Causes Tuberculosis TB 2

Although around a quarter of the global population is estimated to have been infected with tuberculosis, most people do not develop any symptoms. Referred to as latent tuberculosis, these infections do not present with any symptoms or spread from person to person. Overall, people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis have a 5-10% lifetime risk of developing active tuberculosis, which is characterized by symptomatic and transmissible infection. Groups at higher risk of developing active tuberculosis include people with compromised immunities, those who use tobacco, and those with certain medical conditions such as HIV or diabetes.

How Common Is Tuberculosis (TB)?

How Common Is Tuberculosis TB

Second, only to COVID-19, tuberculosis is currently the second deadliest infectious disease and the 13th leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tuberculosis accounts for 10 million active infections and 1.5 million deaths yearly. In fact, it is estimated that tuberculosis (TB) causes 4383 deaths on average every day. Furthermore, the Global Tuberculosis Report (2022) by the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that an estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with tuberculosis, and 1.6 million people died from tuberculosis in 2021. While Mycobacterium tuberculosis is present all around the world, low-income and middle-income countries account for the vast majority of people who fall ill with tuberculosis. Today, the eight countries that account for more than two-thirds of the global burden of tuberculosis are India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

What Are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB)?

What Are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis TB

In general, active infections with tuberculosis present with symptoms such as malaise, weakness, weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, night sweats, fever, nail clubbing, and swelling in the neck. Pulmonary tuberculosis may additionally cause persistent coughing, chest pain, and coughing up blood. Tuberculosis has also been called the Great White Plague and the White Death due to the anemic pallor of those who get ill with the infection. In around 15-20% of the active cases, tuberculosis spreads outside the lungs and causes a condition referred to as extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Extrapulmonary tuberculosis may lead to various conditions with different symptoms depending on the affected organ or system, such as tuberculous pleurisy, tuberculous meningitis, scrofula, urogenital tuberculosis, Addison’s disease, hepatitis, and Pott’s disease. In around 10% of extrapulmonary tuberculosis cases, the infection develops into a more severe and widespread form called disseminated or miliary tuberculosis.

How to Use the Tuberculosis (TB) Rapid Test Kit?

How to Use the Tuberculosis TB Rapid Test Kit

The diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) is complicated by the unique challenges associated with the detection of active and latent infections. Methods that assist medical professionals in the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) include a tuberculin skin test, blood tests, chest X-rays, computed tomography (CT), sputum microscopy, and mycobacterial culture. Multiple tests may be required alongside physical examination to confirm active or latent tuberculosis infection. The tuberculin skin test and blood tests such as interferon-gamma release assay and other brand-name kits are considered the primary methods for the detection of latent tuberculosis. As these methods detect the body’s immune response to infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, other methods such as sputum microscopy and mycobacterial culture may be required to inform on the presence of an active infection.

Coming in a lateral flow assay format, rapid antibody tests, such as our Anti-Tuberculosis Rapid Test Kit, allow for the qualitative detection of tuberculosis-specific antibodies in human plasma, whole blood, or serum. After the collection of a minimum volume of plasma, whole blood, or serum sample, the testing procedure of these assays requires the collected sample to be mixed with the buffer solution within the included buffer tube. Next, the test cassette is removed from its foil pouch and placed on a flat surface when the sample is transferred into the buffer tube as instructed. Finally, a few drops of the processed sample are added to the assigned well on the test cassette, and a timer is started. In order to ensure their validity, each step of the procedure should be followed carefully, and the results should be read exclusively within the time period specified in the manual. While additional testing may be required to check for active tuberculosis infection or confirm a diagnosis, these tests offer a quick, convenient, and accurate method for screening tuberculosis (TB).



Cazzaniga, G., Mori, M., Chiarelli, L. R., Gelain, A., Meneghetti, F., & Villa, S. (2021). Natural products against key Mycobacterium tuberculosis enzymatic targets: Emerging opportunities for drug discovery. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 224, 113732. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2021.113732

Dong, B., He, Z., Li, Y., Xu, X., Wang, C., & Zeng, J. (2022). Improved Conventional and New Approaches in the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis. Frontiers in Microbiology, 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.924410

Rook, G. a. W., Dheda, K., & Zumla, A. (2005). Immune responses to tuberculosis in developing countries: implications for new vaccines. Nature Reviews Immunology, 5(8), 661–667. https://doi.org/10.1038/nri1666


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Vitrosens Biotechnology is a high-tech company in Turkey founded for the development, manufacture, and delivery of in vitro diagnostic devices (IVD) to the world.
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