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Mycobacterial Infections

 

 
 

Mycobacteria are a type of germ. There are many different kinds. The most common one causes tuberculosis. Another one causes leprosy. Still others cause infections that are called atypical mycobacterial infections. They aren't "typical" because they don't cause tuberculosis. But they can still harm people, especially people with other problems that affect their immunity, such as AIDS.

Sometimes you can have these infections with no symptoms at all. At other times, they can cause lung symptoms similar to tuberculosis:

  • Cough
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Fever and chills
  • Night sweats
  • Lack of appetite and weight loss

Medicines can treat these infections, but often more than one is needed to cure the infection.

 

 

 
 
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A photomicrograph of Mycobacterium leprae

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MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.