The diagnosis of TB means that a patient has symptomatic disease due to lesions caused by M. tuberculosis.What type of TB? It is important to answer this question before starting treatment.A case definition tells us the type of TB.We define TB cases in a standardized way.This means that when we talk about a certain type of TB, we are all talking about the same thing.

A TB suspect is any person who presents with symptoms and signs suggestive of TB, in particular cough of long duration.

A case of TB is a patient in whom TB has been bacteriologically confirmed, or who has been diagnosed by a clinician.

Note: any person given treatment for TB should be recorded.

A definite TB case is a patient who is culture-positive for the M. tuberculosis complex. (In countries where culture is not routinely available, a patient with two sputum smears positive for AFB is also considered a "definite case".)

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