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.
Currently, TDR is supporting the following research:
Unique training improving HIV and TB care in Pakistan
Benin and Guinea: Reducing the impact of TB during pregnancy
New implementation research funded in Eastern Mediterranean region
Senegal and Ghana: Striving for increased detection of childhood TB
TDR: Health research that makes an impact
TDR Performance assessment framework
Priorities for tuberculosis research
Research Priorities for Zoonoses and Marginalized Infections
All TDR publications on TB
Related links from WHO
- WHO fact sheet: tuberculosis
- WHO programmes information: The End TB Strategy
- WHO programmes information: XDR-TB
- WHO programmes information: The Global TB Programme
- WHO programmes information: Tuberculosis and HIV
- WHO health topics: tuberculosis
- Data: tuberculosis
- WHO guidelines on tuberculosis
- WHO campaigns: World tuberculosis day
- The Stop TB Partnership