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Jennifer Furin, Helen Cox, Madhukar Pai
Lancet 2019 March 20
Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death from an infectious disease among adults worldwide, with more than 10 million people becoming newly sick from tuberculosis each year. Advances in diagnosis, including the use of rapid molecular testing and whole-genome sequencing in both sputum and non-sputum samples, could change this situation. Although little has changed in the treatment of drug-susceptible tuberculosis, data on increased efficacy with new and repurposed drugs have led WHO to recommend all-oral therapy for drug-resistant tuberculosis for the first time ever in 2018. Studies have shown that shorter latent tuberculosis prevention regimens containing rifampicin or rifapentine are as effective as longer, isoniazid-based regimens, and there is a promising vaccine candidate to prevent the progression of infection to the disease. But new tools alone are not sufficient. Advances must be made in providing high-quality, people-centred care for tuberculosis. Renewed political will, coupled with improved access to quality care, could relegate the morbidity, mortality, and stigma long associated with tuberculosis, to the past.


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