Tuberculosis is an infectious,
granulomatous disease caused by acid-fast bacilli of the genus Mycobacterium.
Although commonly defined as a chronic, debilitating disease, TB occasionally
assumes an acute, rapidly progressive course. The disease affects practically
all species of vertebrates, and before control measures were adopted, was
a major disease of man and domestic animals. Bovine TB is still a significant
zoonotic disease in many parts of the world. Clinical signs and lesions are
generally similar in the various species.
The Mycobacterium family of bacteria causes a variety of disease scourges such as tuberculosis, leprosy, cervical lymphadenitis, a swimming pool granuloma, chronic pulmonary diseases, Johne's disease, etc.