Reducing the global burden of tuberculosis
The contribution of improved diagnostics
Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of disease and death, with ~2 billion people infected and ~2 million deaths annually1. Sputum smear microscopy (SSM) has remained the cornerstone of TB diagnosis for more than a century and is a pillar of the global strategy to control the disease, although it has significant limitations. As the epidemic continues, more attention is being paid to the impact that improving existing diagnostic methods and introducing new procedures might have in resource-limited settings. We estimated the potential global impact of better diagnostic tests, to provide guidance for health-care workers, test developers, funding agencies and policymakers.