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Tuberculosis transmission and control

Kimon C Zachary, MD
Section Editor
C Fordham von Reyn, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


The transmission of tuberculosis (TB) in healthcare facilities is an important public health concern; careful infection control measures are required to reduce healthcare-associated transmission [1,2].

Issues related to control of TB transmission will be reviewed here. Other issues related to TB are discussed in detail separately. (See related topics.)


Person-to-person transmission of tuberculosis (TB) occurs via inhalation of droplet nuclei (airborne particles 1 to 5 microns in diameter). Coughing and singing facilitate formation of droplet nuclei [3-7]. (See "Natural history, microbiology, and pathogenesis of tuberculosis".)

Factors associated with risk for TB transmission via droplet nuclei include [8,9]:

Presence of active untreated pulmonary or laryngeal TB

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 20, 2017.
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