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J Clin Invest. 2008 Apr;118(4):1255-65. doi: 10.1172/JCI34614.

Confronting the scientific obstacles to global control of tuberculosis.

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Division of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a major threat to global health, recently exacerbated by the emergence of highly drug-resistant forms of the disease-causing pathogen and synergy with HIV/AIDS. In 2006, the Stop TB Partnership published "The global plan to stop TB: 2006--2015," which set out a vision of halving the prevalence of and mortality caused by the disease by 2015, followed by eliminating the disease as a public health problem by 2050. This vision depends on the development of improved diagnostics, simpler treatment, and more effective vaccination. Recently, active translational research pipelines directed toward each of these goals have been established, but improved understanding of the fundamental biology of this complex disease will prove to be the key to radical advances in TB control.

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