tuberculosis tu·ber·cu·lo·sis (tu-bûr'kyə-lō'sĭs, tyu-)
Abbr. TB, T.B.
An infectious disease of humans and animals caused by the tubercle bacillus and characterized by the formation of tubercles on the lungs and other tissues of the body, often developing long after the initial infection.
|tuberculosis (t-bûr'kyə-lō'sĭs) Pronunciation Key
An infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis that is transmitted through inhalation and is characterized by cough, fever, shortness of breath, weight loss, and the appearance of inflammatory substances and tubercles in the lungs. Tuberculosis is highly contagious and can spread to other parts of the body, especially in people with weakened immune systems. Although the incidence of the disease has declined since the introduction of antibiotic treatment in the 1950's, it is still a major public-health problem throughout the world, especially in Asia and Africa.
An infectious disease caused by bacteria that mainly attack the lungs. The disease is characterized by the formation of patches, called tubercles, that appear in the lungs and, in later stages, the bones, joints, and other parts of the body. Tuberculosis is treated with combinations of antibiotics and is no longer considered a major health problem in industrialized countries. It was formerly called consumption.
Note: Years ago, tuberculosis (consumption) was a major killer; it often figures in literature and drama.
Note: In recent years, the incidence of tuberculosis has been on the increase in the United States, particularly in large cities, mainly because the strains of the bacterium have developed resistance to antibiotics.