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:
West African implementation research approaches profiled
Special collection of articles on neglected infectious diseases in Myanmar
Indonesia sets research priorities for better access and delivery
Ghana and Tanzania improving access to new health technologies together
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