Tuberculosis, or TB, is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually affect the lungs, although they also affect other parts of the body such as the spine, kidney and brain. Symptoms of active respiratory disease include coughing (sometimes with blood), weakness and weight loss. Healthy individuals may not develop symptoms.

The disease is infectious and is transmitted via droplets from people who have the active respiratory disease.

Generally, TB is treatable with antibiotics, although drug resistant forms of the disease are of concern. Without treatment TB can be fatal.

TDR related research

TDR research has provided key evidence for policy changes on diagnostics, and initiated a specimen bank and sputum bank to provide valuable samples for diagnostic manufacturers and researchers. Other research provided evidence on the timing of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in patients with both HIV and tuberculosis, and a major clinical trial on gatifloxacin investigated whether it could shorten treatment time from 6 to 4 months.

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