Tuberculosis (TB) and other mycobacterial diseases: diagnosis, screening, management and data

Tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis, screening, epidemiology and strategy.

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 choices


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

  1. Managing tuberculosis (TB) in prisons

    • Guidance
  2. Tuberculosis: the disease, its treatment and prevention

    • Promotional material
  3. Tuberculosis by country: rates per 100,000 people

    • Research and analysis
  4. Latent TB infection (LTBI): testing and treatment

    • Guidance
  5. Latent TB testing and treatment: leaflet

    • Promotional material


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

  1. Reports of cases of TB to UK enhanced tuberculosis surveillance systems

    • Official Statistics
  2. Tuberculosis in England: annual report

    • Research and analysis
  3. Tuberculosis (TB) in England: surveillance data

    • Research and analysis
  4. Tuberculosis (TB): annual notification and mortality data (1913 onwards)

    • Research and analysis
  5. Tuberculosis (TB) in the UK: annual report data up to 2013

    • Research and analysis
  6. UK tuberculosis (TB) surveillance data up to 2013

    • Official Statistics
  7. Tuberculosis (TB): annual update

    • Research and analysis
  8. Tuberculosis (TB): regional and devolved administration reports

    • Research and analysis


  1. Tuberculosis screening

    • Guidance
  2. Tuberculosis (TB) screening for the UK: leaflet

    • Promotional material
  3. Tuberculosis: pre-entry screening in the UK

    • Guidance

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

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) in the workplace

    • Guidance
  2. Tuberculosis (TB) and homelessness

    • Guidance
  3. Tuberculosis (TB) and substance misuse

    • Guidance
  4. Tuberculosis (TB) and asylum seekers

    • Guidance
  5. Tuberculosis (TB) and children

    • Guidance
  6. Universal HIV testing for TB patients

    • Guidance
  7. Tuberculosis and pregnant women

    • Guidance
  8. Tuberculosis (TB): information for discipline and wing staff

    • Guidance
  9. Tuberculosis (TB): molecular diagnosis

    • Guidance

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.


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

Mycobacterium bovis

Read how the government is working to reduce and then eradicate bovine tuberculosis (TB) by providing research, advice, guidance and controls.

Published 1 June 2014
Last updated 18 January 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added resource for tackling tuberculosis in under-served populations.
  2. Added guidance for the unlicensed BCG vaccine, in response to a vaccine shortage: training material for healthcare professionals; guide for parents and carers.
  3. Added existing latent TB testing guidance and patient leaflet in multiple languages to the collection.
  4. Added treatment and management advice documents from the National Knowledge Service.
  5. Added publications under 'NKS-TB treatment and management advice'.
  6. Publishing annual report and statistics covering up to 2014.
  7. The Tuberculosis in Kent, Surrey and Sussex: annual report has been published.
  8. The Tuberculosis: notifying cases guidance has been added.
  9. Updated to include 'Bovine tuberculosis: public health management' guidance.
  10. 2014 annual report added.
  11. First published.