Tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial infection caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is spread through the air when a person with the disease coughs or sneezes. A person may become infected with TB when they breathe the air droplets from the person who is sick with the disease. The disease commonly infects the lungs but can infect other parts of the body including the spine, brain or kidney. Below are the characteristics of TB infection and TB disease.
Latent TB Infection
Not everyone who becomes infected with tuberculosis becomes sick with the disease itself. This is because the body’s immune system is able to keep the number of TB germs low enough to prevent the active disease from developing. The infection at this point is called latent TB infection.