Infections

Expert reports about Infections


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE TUBERCULOSIS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a persistent, life-threatening, tissue-destroying disease resulting from infection by the bacterial species Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The lungs are affected in most cases, but M. tuberculosis can cause disease in lymph nodes, the pleura (the membranes between the lungs and inner chest wall), the bones and joints, the kidneys and virtually any organ of the body, even the layers surrounding the brain (TB meningitis). A person can experience symptoms in the weeks and months after being infected (primary TB infection), or can be asymptomatic during this period. In either case, the immune system will suppress the infection, without eliminating it, so it causes no symptoms and doesn't infect other people (latent TB infection). The infection can become activated later (called secondary tuberculosis, nonprimary tuberculosis, or reactivation tuberculosis), typically about two years after the initial infection.


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