Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It normally affects the lungs, causing chronic, progressive symptoms of cough, weight loss and malaise. The disease is normally curable with a six‐month course of appropriate antibiotics.

Keywords: tuberculosis; disease; treatment; mycobacteria

Figure 1.

Chest X‐ray of an 18‐month‐old child showing collapse of the right middle lobe characteristic of primary tuberculosis.

Figure 2.

Chest X‐ray of a middle‐aged male showing pneumonic changes with cavitation of the left upper lobe. The sputum was smear positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis.



Humphries MJ, Byfield SB, Darbyshire J et al. (1984) Deaths occurring in newly notified patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in England and Wales. British Journal of Diseases of the Chest 78: 149–158.

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Maher D and Nunn P (1998) Tuberculosis: an international perspective. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians (London) 32: 309–313.

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National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (2006) Tuberculosis: Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Tuberculosis, and Measures for its Prevention and Control. A Clinical Guideline for the NHS in England and Wales. London: Royal College of Physicians.

Squire SB, Obasi A and Nhlema‐Simwaka B (2006) The Global Plan to Stop TB: a unique opportunity to address poverty and the Millennium Development Goals. Lancet 367: 955–957. Updated December 2005, accessed 8/8/06.

Further Reading

Cole ST, Eisenach KD, McMurray DN and Jacobs WR Jr. (eds) (2005) Tuberculosis and the Tubercle bacillus. Washington: ASM press.

Crofton J, Horne N and Miller F (1999) Clinical Tuberculosis. Paris: IUATLD.

Davies PDO (ed.) (2003) Clinical Tuberculosis, 3rd edn. London: Arnold

Harries AJ and Maher D (2004) TB/HIV: A Clinical Manual, 2nd edn. (WHO/HTM/TB/2004.329)

Rom WN and Garay SM (2004) Tuberculosis, 2nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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Davies, Peter DO(Jan 2007) Tuberculosis. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002221.pub2]