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J Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 3;216(suppl_6):S662-S668. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix353.

Research Roadmap for Tuberculosis Transmission Science: Where Do We Go From Here and How Will We Know When We're There?

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School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, Washington.
Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Aurum Institute and the School of Public Health, University of Witwatersrand.
Advancing Care for tuberculosis and HIV, South African Medical Research Council, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.
Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.


High rates of tuberculosis transmission are driving the ongoing global tuberculosis epidemic, and there is a pressing need for research focused on understanding and, ultimately, halting transmission. The ongoing tuberculosis-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coepidemic and rising rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis in parts of the world add further urgency to this work. Success in this research will require a concerted, multidisciplinary effort on the part of tuberculosis scientists, clinicians, programs, and funders and must span the research spectrum from biomedical sciences to the social sciences, public health, epidemiology, cost-effectiveness analyses, and operations research. Heterogeneity of tuberculosis disease, both among individual patients and among communities, poses a substantial challenge to efforts to interrupt transmission. As such, it is likely that effective interventions to stop transmission will require a combination of approaches that will vary across different epidemiologic settings. This research roadmap summarizes key gaps in our current understanding of transmission, as laid out in the preceding articles in this series. We also hope that it will be a call to action for the global tuberculosis community to make a sustained commitment to tuberculosis transmission science. Halting transmission today is an essential step on the path to end tuberculosis tomorrow.


public health; transmission; tuberculosis

[Available on 2018-11-03]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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