Tuberculosis (TB): diagnosis, screening, management and data

Information on the diagnosis, screening, epidemiology and public health strategy for tuberculosis and other mycobacterial diseases.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection caused by a bacterium belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, which includes:

  • M. tuberculosis
  • M. africanum
  • M. bovis
  • some rare bacteria such as M. microti and M. pinnipedii

TB is a notifiable disease in the UK. Suspected and confirmed diseases must be notified within 3 working days.

For symptoms and general information on tuberculosis, visit NHS.UK.


Treatment, management and vaccination

Standard anti-TB treatment consists of a combination of 4 different antibiotics, usually taken daily for a minimum 6-month period. See National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on treatment of TB.

The BCG vaccine is recommended for high risk groups such as healthcare workers and babies at increased risk of exposure to TB infection.

See the chapter about tuberculosis (TB) immunisation in Immunisation against infectious disease: the Green Book.

For further information about BCG vaccine and supporting resources please go to Immunisation


UK Health Security Agency runs enhanced tuberculosis surveillance (ETS) for real-time case reporting. ETS also has laboratory data on drug sensitivity, species and strain typing.


NKS-TB treatment and management advice

The national knowledge service - tuberculosis (NKS-TB) provides guidance for health professionals who treat and manage TB in patients.

To view patient resources developed by NKS-TB visit NHS Choices

National tuberculosis strain typing service

The national strain typing service involves prospectively typing TB isolates using 24 loci mycobacterial interspersed repeat units - variable number tandem repeats (MIRU-VNTR). The results of this are used in local or national investigation of suspected TB transmission incidents.

Previous reports and resources were published by Public Health England:


Subscribe to the TB Strategy Implementation Update for progress on the TB strategy.

Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis)

Human cases of tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) are rare. These pages present surveillance data on the numbers of human cases of M. bovis and guidance on management of the disease in cattle and other animals to reduce the risk of human infection.

Updates to this page

Published 1 June 2014
Last updated 30 November 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Tuberculosis (TB) notifications reported to enhanced TB surveillance systems: UK, 2000 to 2022'.

  2. Added 'Tuberculosis in England, 2022 report (data up to end of 2021)' and 'Reports of cases of TB to UK enhanced tuberculosis surveillance systems, 2000 to 2021'.

  3. Archived PHE documents.

  4. Added 'Tuberculosis in England: national quarterly reports'.

  5. Publication "Tuberculosis (TB): a resource to support TB in low incidence areas" in the 'Strategy' section.

  6. Added 'National quarterly report of tuberculosis in England: Quarter 4, 2019 provisional data' report.

  7. Added new page 'Tuberculosis in England: quarterly reports'.

  8. Added TB annual report for 2018 and the 2018 slide set.

  9. Added resource for tackling tuberculosis in under-served populations.

  10. Added guidance for the unlicensed BCG vaccine, in response to a vaccine shortage: training material for healthcare professionals; guide for parents and carers.

  11. Added existing latent TB testing guidance and patient leaflet in multiple languages to the collection.

  12. Added treatment and management advice documents from the National Knowledge Service.

  13. Added publications under 'NKS-TB treatment and management advice'.

  14. Publishing annual report and statistics covering up to 2014.

  15. The Tuberculosis in Kent, Surrey and Sussex: annual report has been published.

  16. The Tuberculosis: notifying cases guidance has been added.

  17. Updated to include 'Bovine tuberculosis: public health management' guidance.

  18. 2014 annual report added.

  19. First published.