TB infection rates set to 'turn clock back to 1930s'

During the 1930s, dedicated sanitaria and invasive surgery were commonly prescribed for those with the infection - usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which the editors describe as "the most successful human pathogen of all time."

TB often lies dormant with no symptoms, but in a proportion of cases, becomes active, predominantly attacking the lungs. But it can also affect the bones and nervous system, and if left untreated can be fatal.

The infection is developing increasing resistance around the world to the powerful drugs currently used to treat it.

"Whatever we may have once optimistically thought, TB remains with death, taxes and political chicanery as being inevitable, unavoidable and deeply unpleasant," write the joint editors, Andy Bush and Ian Pavord.

"It shows every sign of weathering the storm and superb , to emerge in ever-increasingly drug-resistant forms, potentially turning the clock back to the 1930s," they say.

"This edition of Thorax, coinciding with world TB day, is themed to recognise the ongoing sinister successes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, unarguably the most successful of all time," they conclude.

The issue contains international research papers, looking at a broad range of issues, from the risk of TB after seroconversion to , to the impact of ethnicity on the pattern of disease.

Related Stories

High rates of drug-resistant TB among UK prisoners

date Mar 16, 2010

UK prisoners are significantly more likely to have drug resistant TB than other people with the disease, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Recommended for you

Aspirin to improve leg ulcers

date 19 hours ago

Researchers are looking at whether aspirin can improve the healing rates of leg ulcers in older adults.

Sierra Leone marks grim Ebola anniversary

date 23 hours ago

On May 24 last year a pregnant woman and an older housewife staggered into Kenema hospital in eastern Sierra Leone and were diagnosed within a day as the country's first Ebola cases.

MSF fighting cholera outbreak in Tanzania refugee camps

date May 24, 2015

Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) said Sunday it had launched emergency treatment centres in Tanzania, where thousands of Burundians fleeing unrest have been hit by cholera.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.