Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection. In is one of the important secondary infections among AIDS patients. It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Lately the number of cases of tuberculosis in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are on the rise. Statistics show that it has topped 7,000 a year.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is currently introducing new technology to enable better identification of the different strains of the bacteria that cause TB. The various techniques to combat the spread of the disease are the use of genetic fingerprinting to identify different strains and find common links between cases.
Professor Peter Borriello, director of the HPA's Centre for Infections, who leads the agency's TB programme, said that introduction of new technology alone will not prevent the spread but also boosting of the surveillance systems at both national and regional levels would be essential. By doing so it would enable the authorities to quickly identify new cases of TB and would warn in case of any outbreak.
They have also planned to create a common database where all the information from various networks of laboratories would be submitted which would enable samples from across the country to be compared. Hence by administering these measures properly one can monitor and control TB.