Research needs

The main recent development in TB is represented by the introduction of diagnostic rapid molecular methods (such as GeneXpert), as previously mentioned. Through international support, the vast majority of countries with intermediate and high TB incidence and MDR-TB prevalence (including those of the former Soviet Union) are implementing these new techniques at a central, regional and local level. The main challenge at present is to ensure that countries are able to set up and maintain the equipment, manage the large number of newly diagnosed MDR-TB cases, and ensure quality treatment and clinical management, adequate infection control and prevention of further drug resistance.

Global and European control (and, eventually, elimination) of TB will only become possible when significant advances in prevention and treatment are also achieved through better vaccines and drugs. A strong public health approach aimed at correctly applying the WHO-recommended strategy of TB control (the Stop TB strategy) is also necessary, in order to ensure the effectiveness of new therapeutic drugs is not lost, as has already occurred for first- and second-line anti-TB drugs in many countries.

See the entire Tuberculosis Chapter