TB research roadmap launched

Priorities for the next 5-15 years

TDR news item
1 November 2011

A new report identifying the main research priorities to achieve tuberculosis (TB) elimination by 2050 has been launched at the World Health Lung Conference in Lille, France. Produced by the Stop TB Partnership and the World Health Organization, An international roadmap for tuberculosis research provides a guide for funders and researchers.

TB is still a major cause of morbidity and deaths, and is only declining by an estimated 1.3% per year. Research is seen as the most important part of the overall four-pronged strategy to eliminate this disease:

  • Optimize diagnosis, treatment and care of cases
  • Develop policies across health system and services for core TB interventions
  • Correct main risk factors for TB and alleviate social and economic determinants
  • Conduct research to develop better tools and strategies.

This document provides a research roadmap for the next 5-15 years and key questions for the development of better tools for improved TB control. The priorities are grouped by main areas of work – epidemiology, fundamental research, diagnostics, treatment, vaccines, and operational and public health research. The publication is the result of a process begun in 2009 by the TB Research Movement.

The first phase of priorities were compared with those identified by the TDR Disease Reference Group (DRG) on TB, leprosy and Buruli ulcer in similar areas. Overall, there was wide convergence of research priorities, and areas of high priority from the DRG that had not been noted in the research roadmap publication were added. The details of the priorities developed by the DRG will be published by TDR and WHO in the first ever research Technical Report Series in the spring of 2012.

The research roadmap publication follows two earlier reports:

  • Priorities in operational research to improve tuberculosis care and control, which also included input by TDR staff.
  • Tuberculosis Research and Development: 2011 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005-2010, which shows that funding for TB is stagnating.

The three reports together provide research recommendations and a call for continuing and increased funding, as well as close coordination and collaboration among all stakeholders, across disciplines and settings.

For more information on TB diagnostics, contact Andy Ramsay

For more information on the Disease and Thematic Reference Group on TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer, contact Shenglan Tang or Deborah Kioy.