Is pleural tuberculosis contagious? How is it transmitted?

Expert answer:

No, pleural tuberculosis it is not contagious. This is a type of extrapulmonary tuberculosis, that is, it does not affect the lungs, so it is not transmitted from person to person through respiratory secretions.

Pleural tuberculosis affects pleura, a delicate membrane lining the lungs. Patients with pleural tuberculosis and other forms of extrapulmonary tuberculosis are not able to transmit the bacterium known as Koch's bacillus, which causes the disease.

Therefore, these people do not need to be in isolation and can get in touch with other people because there is no risk of contagion.

Already the Pulmonary Tuberculosis, which is the most common form of the disease, is contagious. When someone with tuberculosis sneezes or coughs, it spreads large amounts of bacteria that are present in the respiratory secretion. Transmission to other people occurs through the airways, by inhaling these secretory droplets suspended in the air.

However, it is important to remember that a patient with pleural tuberculosis can transmit the disease if it is also in the pulmonary form of tuberculosis, which usually occurs in patients with AIDS.

Pleural tuberculosis itself may be due to pulmonary tuberculosis. In these cases, the bacillus can reach the pleura through the rupture of some outbreak of pulmonary tuberculosis in the pleural cavity, and can be found in pleural fluid and respiratory secretions.

Learn more at:

What is pleural tuberculosis?

Does pleural tuberculosis have a cure? How is the treatment?