Does Latent TB Cause One to get Sick more Often?

Both my sister and I have latent TB. We also get sick more often than others from colds, the flu, etc. Everyone jokes about our poor immune systems. Is it possible that we get sick more often due to the latent TB? I know the TB cells are surrounded by leukocytes. Is it possible that we therefore have less in our blood to prevent other infections?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Latent TB would theoretically not affect your immune system. Different people have different immune systems, due to a number of genes in human DNA (HLA genes). Different genes lead people to have different immune systems. Given the situation you described, I'm guessing that the fact that you and your sister both get sick and both have latent TB means that perhaps you just both got an 'unlucky' set of HLA genes. These unlucky genes made you less able to immunologically fight off the initial TB infection, which lead to the latent TB. Basically, the fact that you get sick often is probably more due to a genetic 'susceptability' than it is to the fact that you have latent TB. By the way, if you know that you both have latent TB, you should probably get on a 6 or 9 month treatment course with isoniazid, rifampin, etc. I hope this helps.

    Source(s): Medical student
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