Guest editors: Prof Ibrahim Abubakar, Dr Helen Fletcher, Dr Marc Lipman and Prof Tim McHugh
Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally with an estimated 9 million cases and 1.5 million deaths each year. The WHO has published the End TB Strategy in recognition of the need to control and eliminate TB. Health systems, health care staff and public health professionals in high TB burden settings face particular challenges in tackling this complex disease that is driven by societal, social, economic and medical factors. In low burden settings, TB has become relatively uncommon with the disease concentrated in marginalized and vulnerable groups with the associated challenges of early diagnosis, curtailing transmission and supporting complex patients to complete the long course of treatment. Antimicrobial resistance, in the form of multidrug-resistant TB, poses a particular challenge to disease control and has recently been declared a crisis by the WHO. To increase awareness, World TB Day takes place on March 24th every year.
In recognition of World TB Day, BMC Medicine and BMC Infectious Diseases have launched a series of original research articles, reviews, and commentaries in collaboration with the UCL-TB Centre and the LSHTM TB Centre. The collection, which continues to attract new papers, includes articles addressing the most up-to-date evidence and innovation in the diagnosis, management and prevention of tuberculosis, as well as particular challenges affecting vulnerable populations.
World TB Day continues to play a key role in raising awareness of a disease that is still an epidemic in many countries. The theme of World TB Day 2018 is “Unite to End TB”.