Outpatient clinic for tuberculosis and non-tuberculosis mycobacteriosis
The specialty network: Infectious Diseases and Respiratory Medicine of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin has a specialized outpatient clinic for patients with suspected tuberculosis or confirmed tuberculosis as well as patients with non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis at the Campus Virchow-Klinikum.
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What ist Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is a worldwide widespread infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, mostly the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The pathogen is usually transmitted from person to person indoors via the air, e.g. when speaking, coughing or sneezing.
However, not every infected contact person falls ill. Only every tenth infected person develops the disease actively and symptoms such as fever, night sweats, weakness and coughing occur. Most people infected with latent tuberculosis are symptom-free. However, the disease can still break out years or decades later.
Tuberculosis most frequently affects the lungs, but can also affect other organs such as the lymph nodes or bones. Advanced infection of the lungs leads to "opened" tuberculosis, i.e. the diseased person is contagious, especially in close contact in closed rooms.
As small children are particularly susceptible to tuberculosis, the clinic is in close contact with the Charité Children's Hospital, where small tuberculosis patients are examined and treated.
What is non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis?
Non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis is an infection with non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
In contrast to tuberculosis patients, patients with non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis are not infected through contact with infected people, but through contact with the environment - above all with soil or water.
Otherwise, an infection with non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is similar to tuberculosis: These bacteria may also attack various organs, but most frequently the lungs. And even in these cases, the disease does not break out actively in every infected person, but primarily in people with a weakened immune system. In this respect, diagnosis and therapy are similar.
The range of services offered by the outpatient clinic includes, among other things, the following
- Advice on diagnostics, therapy and protective measures
- Adjustment of the therapy in case of resistance or drug intolerance
- Monitoring of possible side effects
- Support of motivation during long therapy periods
Information on diagnostics
When tuberculosis affects the lungs, patients usually suffer from coughing with sputum.
X-ray images of the lungs usually show characteristic signs of tuberculosis.
The diagnosis can be confirmed by microscopic and microbiological analysis of the sputum and blood tests.
Sometimes a bronchoscopy is also necessary for the diagnosis.
Information about the therapy
Tuberculosis diagnosed at an early stage can nowadays be treated very well. It is treated by administering specific antibiotics and usually lasts six months. Normally, four different antibiotics are prescribed, which are reduced to two from the third month onwards. After a few weeks of successful therapy, the disease is usually no longer infectious.
In severely ill or highly contagious patients, an inpatient admission is necessary for isolated treatment.
In rare cases (resistant tuberculosis), a therapy with reserve drugs is necessary if the standard therapy is ineffective.
Please bring to the agreed date:
- Letter of referral (issued in current quarter)
- Health insurance card (and identity card for comparison)
- medication plan
- At the first presentation: all previous findings (laboratory values, doctor's letters, X-ray and CT images), if the pre-treatment has not taken place at the Charité