A review of tuberculosis: reflections on the past, present and future of a global epidemic disease

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2003 Oct;1(3):483-91. doi: 10.1586/14787210.1.3.483.


Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death worldwide from a single infectious organism. Approximately 32% of the world's population is infected and an estimated two million people die annually from this treatable disease. Over the past 50 years, with medical treatment and standard public health practices, tuberculosis diminished in developed countries and resulted in a loss of interest and funding for research in improving diagnostic and treatment options. In developing countries, efforts including BCG vaccination have failed to control tuberculosis and the disease continues to spread as the world becomes more globalized. At the same time, multidrug resistant tuberculosis has emerged, challenging even the most advance treatment centers. Better diagnostic techniques, control measures and treatment options are desperately needed but advances require worldwide commitment to battle this age-old disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Forecasting*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / trends
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*


  • Antitubercular Agents