Atypical TB. What is it?

Covering the complex terminology of Tuberculosis and other assoicated disease
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auntiebi0tic
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Atypical TB. What is it?

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Atypical Mycobacteria are other mycobacterial species that MAY cause disease but do NOT cause Tuberculosis. Called Atypical tb iby some BUT IS NOT actually tuberculosis. Unlike tuberculosis, atypical infections are NOT contagious.

Atypical mycobacteria are a group of bacteria that are widely distributed in nature. They can be found in water, soil, animals and man, usually without evidence of disease.

The confusing thing is that many doctors call Atypical mycobacteria by many names, including "ATYPICAL TUBERCULOSIS", "ENVIRONMENTAL TUBERCULOSIS", "OPPORTUNIST MYCOBACTERIAL INFECTION" and NTM "NON TUBERCULOUS INFECTION"

One thing on which all doctors agree this the fact that whatever the name these are not the same organisms that cause tuberculosis.

The organism that causes tuberculosis is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb). The atypical mycobacteria belong to the same family of mycobacterial organisms as M.tb but include other species such as M.avium, M. intracellularae, M. Kansasii, M. Xenopi, and M. fortuitum. Most infections with these organisms are believed to arise from environmental exposure to organisms in infected water, soil, dust, or aerosols. Person-to-person and animal-to-animal transmission of atypical mycobacteria is not an important factor in acquisition of infection with these organisms.

Atypical tuberculosis is known by many other names including, Atypical mycobacterial disease, MOTT: (Mycobacteria other than tuberculosis), Opportunist mycobacterial disease, Environmental Tuberculosis and NTM TB.

These organisms are low grade pathogens in humans and cross infection is very rare. Several epidemiological studies employing DNA finger printing techniques, serology, and skin test antigens have established that person-toperson transmission is very unusual even with smear positive sputum.



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