Tuberculosis (TB): Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 1/8/2019

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.

REFERENCE:

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

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2019

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