Giving Compass' Take:

• Bavesh Kana outlines the current state of the ongoing fight against Tuberculosis and possible routes forward. 

• How can you best make an impact in this fight? What resources do you possess that you could deploy against Tuberculosis?

• Learn about the missing cases of Tuberculosis.

The suffering and massive loss of life caused by Tuberculosis (TB) are proof that humanity hasn’t prioritized the development of tools to eliminate a disease dating back 9 000 years. Two stark facts highlight this: most of the antibiotics used to treat TB were developed decades ago. And, until very recently, some diagnostic approaches being used were a century old.

There’s a chronic funding gap for TB research and development. The Global TB Alliance estimates that it’s as high as $1.3 billion per year.

While still inadequate, there has been a shift towards reducing the funding gap over the last two years. This, together with invigorated research strategies from large funding organizations such as the National Institutes for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, point to a shift in the TB landscape.

As a consequence, there have been some exciting and positive movements on both treatment as well as prevention aspects.

There’s also a growing appreciation that focusing on ensuring good treatment outcomes alone won’t be enough to eliminate TB. The disease has to be viewed as continuum of care. Attention must also be given, for example, to how people access healthcare services and where they are lost in the system.

Two new TB vaccine studies have created a great deal of excitement about the development of a vaccine that would prevent infection or disease.

The first study looked at how revaccination with the current vaccine BCG resulted in the protection of adolescents from infection. This suggests that BCG revaccination maybe be a useful TB prevention strategy.

The second involved a clinical trial of a new vaccine candidate. This showed that it was possible to prevent adults who were infected with TB bacteria from developing active TB.

Read the full article about Tuberculosis by Bavesh Kana at Global Citizen.