Types of TB

What are the different types of TB?

There are two different types, latent TB and active tuberculosis.

What is the TB type, latent TB?

Types of TB

Types of TB ©bccdc.ca

Latent TB occurs when a person has the TB bacteria in their body. But the bacteria are present in extremely small numbers. People with latent TB are not infectious and do not feel ill. They cannot pass the TB bacteria on to other people.

What is the TB type, Tuberculosis?

TB disease or Tuberculosis is what happens when a person has latent TB and then becomes sick. Sometimes this is known as having active TB.

TB bacteria are spread through the air from one person to another when a person with TB disease coughs, speaks or sings. When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there they can move through the blood to other parts of the body.

What is the most common form of the TB type, active TB?

The most common form of active TB, is Pulmonary TB, which is TB in the lungs.

What is extrapulmonary TB?

Extrapulmonary TB, which is also known as disseminated or miliary TB, is all the different forms of TB that do not affect the lungs.

Extrapulmonary TB is then further divided into:

  • Lymph node TB;
  • Skeletal (bone and joint) TB;
  • TB meningitis;
  • Gastrointestinal TB;
  • Abdominal TB;
  • TB of the kidneys;

according to the exact area of the body that is affected.

Has the word "form" always been used to describe extra-pulmonary TB?

The word "form" as in "extra-pulmonary forms of tuberculosis" has certainly been used as long ago as 1946.

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This page was last updated in January 2023.
Author Annabel Kanabus

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