5 doctors weighed in:
Is tuberculous pleural effusion infectious?
5 doctors weighed in

Dr. Michael Sanders
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
2 doctors agree
In brief: No
Only pulmonary TB is infectious; pleural TB is not.

In brief: No
Only pulmonary TB is infectious; pleural TB is not.
Dr. Michael Sanders
Dr. Michael Sanders
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Dr. Tony Ho
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
In brief: Yes
The tuberculosis bacteria is only rarely found in the pleural effusion, so it makes diagnosis difficult; however, if it is seen, it is just as infectious as from any other source.
The main question is whether the patient is expelling tuberculosis from his respiratory tract as well, because 1/3 of patients with pleural effusion TB will have it in their lungs as well.

In brief: Yes
The tuberculosis bacteria is only rarely found in the pleural effusion, so it makes diagnosis difficult; however, if it is seen, it is just as infectious as from any other source.
The main question is whether the patient is expelling tuberculosis from his respiratory tract as well, because 1/3 of patients with pleural effusion TB will have it in their lungs as well.
Dr. Tony Ho
Dr. Tony Ho
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In brief: No with precautions
Could be if contaminated, the bacteria will not survive out side body, effusion is mostly a reaction to infection.

In brief: No with precautions
Could be if contaminated, the bacteria will not survive out side body, effusion is mostly a reaction to infection.
Dr. Addagada Rao
Dr. Addagada Rao
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2 comments
Dr. Tony Ho
This answer is wrong. If the pleural effusion is associated with pulmonary TB (as it is in 1/3 of the cases), the patient is highly infectious.
Dr. Addagada Rao
DR HO read question carefully , Is plural effusion contagious
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