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Tuberculosis (TB) in Healthcare Settings

General Information about TB

Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis [TB]) is a recognized risk to patients and healthcare personnel in healthcare settings. Transmission is most likely to occur from patients who have unrecognized pulmonary or larynx-related TB, are not on effective anti-TB therapy, and have not been placed in TB isolation. Transmission of M. tuberculosis in healthcare settings has been associated with close contact with persons who have infectious TB, particularly during the performance of cough-inducing procedures such as bronchoscopy and sputum induction. TB can spread through the air and can travel long distances. Cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB, which includes extensively drug-resistant TB [XDR-TB]), have been recognized and are more difficult to treat.

M. tuberculosis

For more images of this bacterium, search the Public Health Image Library.

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Drug-resistant TB

Drug-resistant tuberculosis is TB disease caused by M. tuberculosis organisms that are resistant to at least one first-line anti-TB drug. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is resistant to at least isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RIF). Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is a relatively rare type of MDR-TB. It is resistant to almost all drugs used to treat TB, including the two best first-line drugs: isoniazid and rifampin. XDR-TB is also resistant to the best second-line medications: fluoroquinolones and at least one of three injectable drugs (i.e., amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin). Treating and curing drug-resistant TB is complicated. Drug-resistant TB should be managed by, or in close consultation with, an expert in the disease.

For more information visit CDC's Tuberculosis (TB) web site

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Diagnosis and Treatment

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Guidelines and Recommendations

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