Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs, but can also spread to other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. Symptoms of TB may include a persistent cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss, and fatigue. In some cases, there may also be chest pain and coughing up blood. Molecular test based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used to detect TB DNA in a sample of body fluid or sputum and is used to confirm a TB diagnosis.
If TB is diagnosed, prompt treatment is important to prevent the spread of the infection and to reduce the risk of serious complications. Treatment typically involves a combination of antibiotics, taken for several months, to kill the TB bacteria.