- The common cold and [some?] types of influenza are self-limiting. Some microorganisms cause self-limiting diarrhea. Is tuberculosis [potentially] self-limiting or not? To put it another way, suppose that ONLY ONE viable cell of Mycobacterium tuberculosis enters the respiratory system of a healthy human. Will the immune system of that healthy human be able to defeat, on its own, that lone Mycobacterium invading cell? Is the human immune system capable of defeating M. tuberculosis?
- If the answer to question number 1 is yes, then my follow up question is this: Is the human immune system capable of defeating, on its own, all other pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria)? How about pathogenic viruses (except HIV)?
- As a non-medical professional (although I am a medical enthusiast), I notice that self-limiting viral diseases are more common (both by type and prevalence) than self-limiting bacterial diseases. Is this observation correct?
To clarify: Yes Chris, for "self-limiting", i mean an infection that resolves by itself without an external intervention (no antibiotics, antivirals, vaccines, etc.).
I am interested in the [theoretical] capabilities of the [unaided] human immune system. I live in a third world country where pulmonary TB is prevalent. Most of the self-limiting diseases i know are viral, and at this moment, i cannot name a bacterial infection that resolves without antibiotics. Nevertheless, i can't help but wonder why we humans can handle viral infections, but [apparently] not bacterial infections. And this got me asking long ago: is the human immune system incapable of defeating M. tuberculosis? Aside from bacteria that cause diarrhea, what are other examples of bacterial infections which the human immune system can clear on its own? What about fungal infections?