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Eur J Immunol. 2009 Aug;39(8):2014-20. doi: 10.1002/eji.200939518.

Overcoming the global crisis: "yes, we can", but also for TB ... ?

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Tuberculosis (TB) poses formidable challenges to global health at the public health-, scientific- and political level. Causing almost two million deaths every year, this ancient disease represents a continuing global crisis. The writing on the wall is that TB is resurging in more virulent and treatment-resistant forms. Our tools to combat TB are dangerously out of date and ineffective. Besides new tools (TB drugs, vaccines, diagnostics), we also need new strategies to identify key Mycobacterium tuberculosis/human host interactions, since it is here that we can most likely find Mtb's Achilles' heel. Equally important is that we build high-quality clinical trial capacity and biobanks for TB biomarker identification. But most important is a global commitment at all levels to roll back TB before it outwits us again.

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