Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious and often severe airborne disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) bacteria. TB typically affects the lungs, but it also can affect any other organ of the body. It is usually treated with a regimen of drugs taken for six months to two years depending on whether the infecting organisms are drug resistant.
Why Is the Study of Tuberculosis a Priority for NIAID?
Tuberculosis is one of the major causes of disability and death worldwide. More than 95 percent of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization. In 2014, 9.6 million people became ill with TB, and 1.5 million people died from the disease. TB is a leading cause of death for people infected with HIV. In 2015, 1 in 3 HIV deaths was due to TB. Globally in 2014, an estimated 480,000 people developed multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
How Is NIAID Addressing This Critical Topic?
NIAID supports a comprehensive portfolio of research covering basic, translational and clinical studies to better understand the national history of TB and the development of drug resistance. NIAID also provides resources and animal models to investigators worldwide to facilitate biomedical research and help move drugs, vaccines and diagnostics closer to patients.
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