|Description:||Depicted here, is the left lateral margin of a tongue of a tuberculosis patient, which had been retracted in order to reveal the lesion that had been caused by the Gram-positive bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Note that the outermost mucocutaneous membrane of the tongue had been eroded revealing the underlying erythematous connective tissue.|
The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.