What is it?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis
that passes through the air. When it affects the lungs, it is called pulmonary tuberculosis and can cause chest pain, coughing and other symptoms. A person who carries the bacteria but does not develop symptoms is called latent TB. Latent TB is not contagious, but it can develop into active TB, especially when the person becomes immunocompromised. Many people with latent TB, though, will never develop the active disease.

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Tuberculosis (TB) Pulmonary & Respiratory.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Phthisis

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of tuberculosis may be hard to identify because they are not specific. They may include a bad cough that lasts at least 3 weeks, chest pain, coughing with blood, breathlessness, fever, chills, weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes,and weakness.


Diagnosis is made by identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in culture or by identification of its DNA. Tuberculin skin test or the Mantoux test can detect an infection, as well as interferon-gamma release assay that can quantify its response to the antigens. Samples may be taken from the blood or sputum. If a test is positive for TB, a chest X-ray or a CT scan may be done to show changes that have to do with the infection.


Tuberculosis is treated like regular pulmonary TB- with 4 drugs (rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol) for 6 months. Sometimes, a longer treatment may be required either because of coinfection with HIV or kidney abscess. For multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) infection, the treatment is with fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, and other drugs for 18 to 24 months.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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