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Mycobacterial Disease

Tufts Medicine is ready to take action if you are told that you have mycobacterial disease – a type of germ that can cause disease in us. The most common of these diseases: tuberculosis. We work closely with you to get an accurate diagnosis and begin effective treatment.

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Prompt diagnosis + effective treatment

You want to know what’s happening with your health, so getting you the quickest diagnosis and the most effective treatment is what it’s all about. For instance, tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne mycobacterium that can be spread from person to person through a cough or sneezing if you are infected. But, not all mycobacterium are contagious. Mycobacterium can be hard to treat because it can become tolerant to medications. From your first appointment, we work hard to assess your condition, understand your needs and get you the most efficient therapy as soon as possible.

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You can be exposed to mycobacteria in several ways, including drinking or bathing in contaminated water, inhaling it from the environment or being exposed to it during surgery. Common signs of a mycobacterial disease include:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Skin lesions or ulcers


You can treat, and in some cases, cure mycobacterial disease. That's why it is so important to get tested. We conduct a thorough exam and diagnostic tests to get an accurate diagnosis. This may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Bronchoscopy (to see what is happening inside of your airways)
  • CT scan
  • Sputum (mucus) sample from the respiratory system
  • X-ray

You should know that one positive test for mycobacteria doesn't always confirm a diagnosis. Our team may conduct more tests to be completely accurate.



Treatment regimens involve an intensive course of antibiotics that may take six months or more. But, we constantly monitor and celebrate your improvements to your overall health. Other treatments may include:

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