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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2011 Mar;29 Suppl 1:2-7. doi: 10.1016/S0213-005X(11)70011-8.

Present epidemiology of tuberculosis. Prevention and control programs.

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Programa de Prevenció i Control de la Tuberculosi de Barcelona, Servei d'Epidemiologia, Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Barcelona, Spain.


Tuberculosis (TB) has affected humanity since the beginning of the recorded time and is associated with poverty, malnutrition, overcrowding, and immunosuppression. Since Koch discovered the infectious nature of the disease in 1882, knowledge about its history and physiopathology has advanced, but it continues to be a global public health problem. More than 9 million new cases occurred in 2008 worldwide (with an incidence of 139/100,000 inhabitants), of whom more than one million died. Over half million of the cases presented with multidrug resistant-TB. Africa represents the continent with the highest incidence and the most HIV co-infection. The situation in Eastern Europe is also worrisome because of the high incidence and frequency drug resistance. In developed countries, TB has been localized in more vulnerable populations, such as immigrants and persons with social contention. There is an increase of extra-pulmonary presentation in this context, related to non-European ethnicity, HIV infection, and younger age. In Spain, the increasing immigrant population has presented a need to improve coordination between territories and strengthen surveillance The global control plan is based on the DOTS strategy, although the objectives and activities were redefined in 2006 to incorporate the measurement of global development, and community and healthcare strengthening. Adequate control measures in a more local context and continual activity evaluation are necessary to decrease the burden of suffering and economic loss that causes this ancient disease.

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