Tuberculosis (TB), the infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), remains a significant global public health threat.  TB is the worldwide leading cause of death from a bacterial disease and the second leading cause of death from an infectious disease after Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections.  Approximately one third of the world’s population, 1.8 billion people, is infected with MTB with approximately two thirds of infections occurring in people 15-59 years of age.  In 2010, there were 8.8 million (range, 8.5–9.2 million) incident cases of TB, 1.1 million (range, 0.9–1.2 million) deaths from TB among HIV-negative people and an additional 0.35 million (range, 0.32–0.39 million) deaths from HIV-associated TB.  In 2010, there was an estimated 650,000 based upon the notified cases (note: only 50-65% of TB cases are even notified) of MDRTB among the world’s 12.0 million prevalent cases of TB.  While the World Health Organization (WHO) in their 2011 report stated that there is insufficient data to determine the trends for multidrug resistant TB (MDRTB), there is evidence that the incidence of MDRTB is increasing as well as that of extensive drug resistant TB (XDRTB).

More on TB: