The global health community has been battling tuberculosis for more than a century, yet it remains a persistent problem.
The disease, which is contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs, spits or sneezes, strikes everywhere, but predominantly affects the poor.
The countries most affected by TB are the so-called high-burden ones, or the 22 countries identified by the World Health Organization that combined contribute 80 percent of the global burden of TB.
Many health care systems in these nations don't have the resources, drugs and diagnostics to effectively deal with the disease, according to Dr. Mel Spigelman, director of research and development at the not-for-profit Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance). See where in the world TB is most devastating
"But even if we upgraded those systems, the lack of a really effective vaccine, the lack of better and faster drugs that shorten treatment to a reasonable time and the lack of good drugs for treating resistant disease -- make it hard for any health care system to effectively deal with the disease," he said. Read full article »