Mycobacterium tuberculosis predominantly affects the lungs. However, kidneys, skin, bones and other organs can also be affected.

The incubation period is 1 - 6 months.

The clinical picture of tuberculosis is broad. As with leprosy, it is dependent on the immunity of the body. Therefore, the disease that has spread over decades varies from person to person.

A number of factors favour the outbreak of tuberculosis:

  •  poor nutritional status
  • lack of hygiene
  • confined housing conditions
  • a generally reduced physical condition

A fundamental difference between the two diseases is the fact that in leprosy the clinical picture is determined by skin conditions, as leprosy predominantly affects the skin and the nervous system. In tuberculosis, the disease mainly takes place in the internal organs. Therefore, it is not possible for me to demonstrate the manifestation of the disease with pictures of tuberculosis sufferers.

However, all forms of pulmonary tuberculosis often have the following symptoms:

  • chest pain
  • sub-febrile temperatures
  • cough for more than three weeks
  • weight loss
  • night sweats
  • fatigue

There is also a mute course of both primary infections and post-primary infections. In that case, the diagnosis of tuberculosis is made by random x-ray examination.

Enlargement of the lymph nodes, perforation of the lymph nodes, involvement of the pleura with effusions, spitting of blood and breathing difficulties are characteristic  for pulmonary tuberculosis. Here the X-ray thorax image is decisive.

The primary infection occurs in children or young adults. Depending on the immunity, it is asymptomatic or leads to complications.

Post-primary infection occurs in case of poor immunity due to endogenous reactivation of old foci or exogenous super-infection. Mostly, the lungs are affected, much less other organs.

(Braveny, I, Maschmeyer, G., Tuberculosis in "Infectious Diseases", Munich, 2002)