Tuberculosis Infections Prominent in Arthritis, New Diagnostic Test Reveals

septic arthritisA new diagnostic test developed in India has enabled medical doctors to confirm that arthritis can readily be the result of tuberculosis bacteria infecting the joints.

This is newsworthy because for years, conventional medicine argued that arthritis could not be a result of infection outside of septic arthritis – following a body-wide bacterial infection spreading throughout the body’s tissues and joints.

Illustrating the weakness of such a theory, researchers from India’s Lok Nayak Hospital in New Delhi tested 32 arthritis patients with the Amplified Mycobacterium tuberculosis Direct Test (AMTDT). These were all patients who were at the preliminary stages of their arthritis and showing signs of possible joint infection.

After applying the test, the researchers found that eight of the 32 patients indeed tested positive for the Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection within their joint fluid – the synovial fluid.

For many years, conventional medicine has assumed that the synovial capsule covering the joints provided some a sterile environment, and thus arthritis could not be associated with bacterial infections outside of rare septic cases. Yet this study showed that the joints can harbor an early infection of bacteria that invade the body.

This also means that bacteria can travel through the bloodstream – another notion that many conventional doctors have argued against for many decades. Their assumption has been that the bloodstream and lymphatic systems are too sterile to allow bacteria to migrate to the joints.

The Indian medical researchers suggested in their conclusion that the use of these diagnostic measures “in all suspected cases is helpful in the early diagnosis of knee joint tuberculosis.”

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The test proves what many natural medicine experts have said for decades: That arthritis can readily be the result of an infection of bacteria in the joint.

Because bacteria can readily enter some people and not enter others, this points to a healthy constitution being a preventive strategy for infection. For years, natural health experts have argued that keeping the blood and saliva pH optimal through dietary strategies will help prevent internal infections.

The ability to allow infective bacteria into the bloodstream also arises from those bacteria getting through the body’s mucosal membrane defense mechanisms. Healthy mucosal membranes contain a significant amount of probiotics and immune cells that help protect the body from invading bacteria.

The risk of tuberculosis infection has become more critical over the past decade, as multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) infections have been increasing – even though infections and deaths from TB overall have fallen off slightly due to earlier medical attention. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 8.8 million people contracted tuberculosis worldwide in 2010 and 1.4 million people died from TB around the world.

Learn more about infective arthritis and natural strategies for arthritis.


Aggarwal VK, Nair D, Khanna G, Verma J, Sharma VK, Batra S. Use of amplified Mycobacterium tuberculosis direct test (Gen-probe Inc., San Diego, CA, USA) in the diagnosis of tubercular synovitis and early arthritis of knee joint. Indian J Orthop. 2012 Sep;46(5):531-5.

Adams C. Arthritis – The Botanical Solution: Nature’s Answer to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout and Other Forms of Arthritis. Logical Books, 2010.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn our health around. As I drove home that night, I realized this knowledge should be available to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with nature by surfing, hiking, running, biking and according to Dad, being a total beach bum.

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