What is tuberculosis?

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). This bacterium can attack any part of the body, but the disease usually affects the lungs (85% of cases).


The slowly progressive inflammation that occurs when a patient is infected with TB destroys tissues.
Minor TB infection may halt spontaneously but, without treatment, it may recur and progress in later life.

Public health priority

In the past two decades TB has again become a public health priority in
Europe, as the number of TB cases has increased dramatically in Eastern

Drug resistance

Since 1990, a substantial increase in resistance to drugs commonly used to treat TB has been observed across Europe.
If the recent TB epidemic in Eastern Europe continues at its current rate, the number of cases is expected to increase by 2–3% annually.


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