Tuberculosis (TB): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Tuberculosis is a pulmonary (lung) infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Tuberculosis can be active (when symptoms occur and the organism can be spread to others) or latent, in which the infection is not causing symptoms because the body's immune system is keeping the infection under control. Fever, night sweats, coughing up blood (hemoptysis), shortness of breath, chest pain, and swollen lymph nodes are some of the symptoms and signs associated with active tuberculosis infection. In certain cases, the bacteria can infect the gastrointestinal tract, meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord, urinary tract, or other sites within the body, causing symptoms that are specific to those areas.

Causes of tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterial infection. The type of bacteria responsible for the infection is Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Other tuberculosis (tb)

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.