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Tuberculosis / Pulmonary Tuberculosis / Lung Tuberculosis /TB

Last Updated on May 28, 2018
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Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial infection caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis.


It is estimated that over 8 million new cases of TB occur each year worldwide.

Generally, tuberculosis affects the lungs (known as pulmonary tuberculosis) but may spread to other organs including the lymph nodes, gastro intestinal tract, genito-urinary tract, brain, coverings of the brain (meninges) or heart (pericardium), bones, joints, skin, eyes or almost any other organ in the body. Only the hair and nails are not affected by TB.

When a person is infected with pulmonary tuberculosis, the bacteria in the lungs multiply and cause pneumonia along with chest pain, hemoptysis and a prolonged cough. The lymph nodes near the heart and lungs become enlarged. As the TB bacteria tries to spread to other parts of the body, the body's immune system often interrupts the process and forms scar tissue or fibrosis around the TB bacteria. This helps fight the infection and prevents the disease from spreading in the body and to other people. If the body's immune system is unable to fight the bacteria the disease returns to an active state with pneumonia and damage to kidneys, bones, and the meninges that line the spinal cord and brain.

Tuberculosis can be classified as latent or active.

  • Latent tuberculosis is when the bacteria in the body are in an inactive state and the person shows no symptoms. Latent tuberculosis is not contagious.
  • Active tuberculosis is contagious and can make a person sick.

TB is spread through the air when people with an active pulmonary tuberculosis infection cough, sneeze, shouts or spit.

The treatment can continue for several months and the patient has to take the medicines at the given time regularly for the prescribed duration. If TB medications are not taken as per the healthcare providers recommendations the infection may become much more difficult to treat and sometimes the TB bacteria may become resistant to treatment.

TB is a preventable disease. BCG vaccination is given to people in countries where there is high prevalence of tuberculosis.

Lately the incidence of tuberculosis is increasing due to increased HIV cases and appearance of drug resistant strains of TB.

In 1826 a physician Laennec said this about tuberculosis - "Whatever the form in which the tuberculous matter develops, it begins as a grey, semi-transparent matter that little by little becomes yellow, opaque, and dense. Then it softens, and slowly acquires liquidity like pus. This pus when expelled through the airways leaves cavities, commonly called ulcers of the lung; that we will designate as tuberculous excavations." -Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec, 1826

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Dr. Hiren Popat
Dr. Hiren Popat
12 years experience
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Hello sir,

I am 28 years old,

I had cough and chest pain, i consulted the doctor and he said there some fluid in my chest and removed fluid by endoscopy treatment, but they found TB bacteria in biopsy result, I started the TB treatment that akurit4 tablets for 2 months and akurit3 for 4 months, and I was feeling better.

After completed 6 months treatment I found enlarged lymb node [left side of the neck].

Doctor suggest me to remove the lymb nodes and continue akrut3 tablets

I could not continue day by day treatment with tb tablet, I had missed 4 or 5 days TB tablet in initial months of completed six months treatment - Is that big problem?
Now I am really afraid of this. I have few more doubts that i have listed below, I hope you will help me

1) Why lymb node enlarged after 6 month completed treatment?

2) How do i check if there a TB bacteria in my body? or how do i check TB bacteria increasing or decreasing in my body?

3) DB patients have any problem in future? Will TB come back in future?

4) What are the side effects of long duration TB treatment with TB tablets?


dear sir,I was going through spinal TB treatment for about 10-11 months..and Istop taking medicines after this time period.. and now I am feeling symptoms again such as weakness,loss of weight but no cough..on my upper portion of my back its something like nailing inside..I am really afraid to consult doctor again because doctor told me that their is no ways to treat TB if you stopped taking medicine without my consult..I stopped my medicine in starting of January 2015..please help me sir..my age is 25 years and I am a boy living in India


Sir, I am female aged 40 years, Indian national staying in UAE for last 10 years. Every 3 years for getting a residense visa I need to undergo medical tests to check for any infectious disease. So many years I have done tests, never faced any problem. Unfortunately very recently when I had to undergo X-ray they found some spot in my chest and suspected for TB. As instructed by health authorities I had to undergo skin test, IGRA blood test and Sputum test. Skin test and IGRA blood test has come negative. Moreover sputum test is also negative. Only test left is sputum culture test result which they said will take 42 days. I had submitted my sputum last month. I had checked yesterday for any developments with the authorities as they said you could check after 15 days post sputum submital. The result was still not available and they told to wait till end of this month for final result as 42 days will be completed. In last 6 months or may be more I never had any TB symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, weight loss, cough etc. I am very much worried about the final outcome which will decide whether I could continue staying in UAE or not. Can you please advice what are the chances of the test outcome. Is it possible that I am infected. Your reply will help to release my anxiety and educate other friends in such incidents.


Hi, My mother is 72yrs old.She has been having low grade fever past 2 months. Her sking TB test and TB gold blood test are positive. She suffers from weak stomach. she doesn't have any cough, has had slight weight loss, has pain in her shoulders ans base of spine. Please let me know what kind of TB is she suffering from and would she be able to sustain such strong TB medication? What can I do to help her?


My daughter aged 10years had chine of Lymphnodes enlarged rht sid of the neck and NFAC done report says single TB bacteria cell found. Then doctor started ATT, after 10days she got high fever @103 and full total rashes. Admited in hospita. The doctor says its measles.. now the treatment for ATT stoppped and LFT reports 2 levels increased. Now i am not understanding weather that correctly dignosed TB or not . And if TB confirm how to manage the LFT levels under medication.. Presently taking RCINIC KID AND PYZINA KID tabs supporting Bcomplex. Experts kindly suggest

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