World Tuberculosis Day

Today is World Tuberculosis Day.

We are nowhere near eradicating this bacterial menace. In fact, there is a resurgence of this infection and now many countries are concerned about multidrug resistant tuberculosis.

WHO has published a report on their website here.

There has been no new advances in tuberculosis treatment. We are treating tuberculosis with the same drugs as we did many decades ago. WHO’s global plan for tuberculosis eradication is at the moment a gargantuan task considering much of the infection still occurs in impoverished nations, where access to even basic healthcare needs is not met.

Research into tuberculosis treatment is sorely needed to propel this battle to another level. Unfortunately, many pharmaceutical companies are aware that the returns are likely going to be modest if any, thus steering many of these cash flushed companies away from tuberculosis.

Look at HIV and the advances that this comparatively new disease has achieved. Or take a look at the the multitude of biologic DMARDs for rheumatoid arthritis. There is no such luck for tuberculosis.

Multiresistant TB is a real threat that needs to be addressed urgently. The armamentarium against TB is inadequate and if they are to become pandemic, Mankind will fall haplessly. But they have been warned.