Mycobacterium tuberculosis, along with M. bovis, M. africanum, M. microti and others, make up the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, a group of bacteria that cause clinical tuberculosis (TB) in humans.
Most TB cases are caused by M. tuberculosis. Cases due to other species are far less prevalent.
M. tuberculosis is a small, rod-shaped, strictly aerobic, acid-fast bacillus1 . Like other mycobacteria, it is slow growing, resulting in more gradual development of disease when compared with other bacterial infections.
|1||Acid-fast bacilli are bacilli, which once stained, resist discoloration by acid and alcohol.|