Tuberculosis continues to kill 1·4 million people annually. During the past 5 years, an alarming increase in the number of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis has been noted, particularly in eastern Europe, Asia, and southern Africa. Treatment outcomes with available treatment regimens for drug-resistant tuberculosis are poor. Although substantial progress in drug development for tuberculosis has been made, scientific progress towards development of interventions for prevention and improvement of drug treatment outcomes have lagged behind. Innovative interventions are therefore needed to combat the growing pandemic of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. Novel adjunct treatments are needed to accomplish improved cure rates for multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. A novel, safe, widely applicable, and more effective vaccine against tuberculosis is also desperately sought to achieve disease control. The quest to develop a universally protective vaccine for tuberculosis continues. So far, research and development of tuberculosis vaccines has resulted in almost 20 candidates at different stages of the clinical trial pipeline. Host-directed therapies are now being developed to refocus the anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis-directed immune responses towards the host; a strategy that could be especially beneficial for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis or extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. As we are running short of canonical tuberculosis drugs, more attention should be given to host-directed preventive and therapeutic intervention measures.
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