Although the worldwide incidence of tuberculosis has been slowly decreasing, the global disease burden remains substantial (∼9 million cases and ∼1·5 million deaths in 2013), and tuberculosis incidence and drug resistance are rising in some parts of the world such as Africa. The modest gains achieved thus far are threatened by high prevalence of HIV, persisting global poverty, and emergence of highly drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is also a major problem in health-care workers in both low-burden and high-burden settings. Although the ideal preventive agent, an effective vaccine, is still some time away, several new diagnostic technologies have emerged, and two new tuberculosis drugs have been licensed after almost 50 years of no tuberculosis drugs being registered. Efforts towards an effective vaccine have been thwarted by poor understanding of what constitutes protective immunity. Although new interventions and investment in control programmes will enable control, eradication will only be possible through substantial reductions in poverty and overcrowding, political will and stability, and containing co-drivers of tuberculosis, such as HIV, smoking, and diabetes.
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