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World TB Day 2016

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 2016, 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 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.

  1. Research article

    Recent household transmission of tuberculosis in England, 2010–2012: retrospective national cohort study combining epidemiological and molecular strain typing data

    We estimate the proportion of tuberculosis (TB) in England due to recent household transmission, identify factors associated with being a household transmitter, and investigate the impact that identification o...

    Maeve K. Lalor, Laura F. Anderson, Esther L. Hamblion, Andy Burkitt, Jennifer A. Davidson, Helen Maguire, Ibrahim Abubakar and H. Lucy Thomas

    BMC Medicine 2017 15:105

    Published on: 13 June 2017

  2. Research article

    Use of whole-genome sequencing to distinguish relapse from reinfection in a completed tuberculosis clinical trial

    RIFAQUIN was a tuberculosis chemotherapy trial in southern Africa including regimens with high-dose rifapentine with moxifloxacin. Here, the application of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is evaluated within RIF...

    Adam A. Witney, Anna L. E. Bateson, Amina Jindani, Patrick P. J. Phillips, David Coleman, Neil G. Stoker, Philip D. Butcher and Timothy D. McHugh

    BMC Medicine 2017 15:71

    Published on: 29 March 2017

  3. Research article

    Modelling the effect of short-course multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan

    Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a major threat to global TB control. MDR-TB treatment regimens typically have a high pill burden, last 20 months or more and often lead to unsatisfactory outcomes. ...

    James M. Trauer, Jay Achar, Nargiza Parpieva, Atadjan Khamraev, Justin T. Denholm, Dennis Falzon, Ernesto Jaramillo, Anita Mesic, Philipp du Cros and Emma S. McBryde

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:187

    Published on: 18 November 2016

  4. Research article

    Determinants of treatment-related paradoxical reactions during anti-tuberculosis therapy: a case control study

    Inflammatory response following initial improvement with anti-tuberculosis (TB) treatment has been termed a paradoxical reaction (PR). HIV co-infection is a recognised risk, yet little is known about other pre...

    Colin Stewart Brown, Colette Joanne Smith, Ronan Angus MacCormick Breen, Lawrence Peter Ormerod, Rahul Mittal, Marie Fisk, Heather June Milburn, Nicholas Martin Price, Graham Henry Bothamley and Marc Caeroos Isaac Lipman

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:479

    Published on: 6 September 2016

  5. Research article

    The socioeconomic impact of multidrug resistant tuberculosis on patients: results from Ethiopia, Indonesia and Kazakhstan

    One of the main goals of the post-2015 global tuberculosis (TB) strategy is that no families affected by TB face catastrophic costs. We revised an existing TB patient cost measurement tool to specifically also...

    Susan van den Hof, David Collins, Firdaus Hafidz, Demissew Beyene, Aigul Tursynbayeva and Edine Tiemersma

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:470

    Published on: 5 September 2016

  6. Correspondence

    Investments in tuberculosis research – what are the gaps?

    Through decades of research, numerous studies have generated robust evidence about effective interventions for tuberculosis control. Yet, the global annual decline in incidence of approximately 1 % is evidence...

    Mishal S. Khan, Helen Fletcher and Richard Coker

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:123

    Published on: 25 August 2016

  7. Research article

    A new tool for tuberculosis vaccine screening: Ex vivo Mycobacterial Growth Inhibition Assay indicates BCG-mediated protection in a murine model of tuberculosis

    In the absence of a validated animal model and/or an immune correlate which predict vaccine-mediated protection, large-scale clinical trials are currently the only option to prove efficacy of new tuberculosis ...

    Andrea Zelmer, Rachel Tanner, Elena Stylianou, Timon Damelang, Sheldon Morris, Angelo Izzo, Ann Williams, Sally Sharpe, Ilaria Pepponi, Barry Walker, David A. Hokey, Helen McShane, Michael Brennan and Helen Fletcher

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:412

    Published on: 12 August 2016

  8. Research article

    The use of digital PCR to improve the application of quantitative molecular diagnostic methods for tuberculosis

    Real-time PCR (qPCR) based methods, such as the Xpert MTB/RIF, are increasingly being used to diagnose tuberculosis (TB). While qualitative methods are adequate for diagnosis, the therapeutic monitoring of TB ...

    Alison S. Devonshire, Denise M. O’Sullivan, Isobella Honeyborne, Gerwyn Jones, Maria Karczmarczyk, Jernej Pavšič, Alice Gutteridge, Mojca Milavec, Pablo Mendoza, Heinz Schimmel, Fran Van Heuverswyn, Rebecca Gorton, Daniela Maria Cirillo, Emanuele Borroni, Kathryn Harris, Marinus Barnard…

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:366

    Published on: 3 August 2016

  9. Research article

    Burden of respiratory tract infections at post mortem in Zambian children

    Autopsy studies are the gold standard for determining cause-of-death and can inform on improved diagnostic strategies and algorithms to improve patient care. We conducted a cross-sectional observational autops...

    Matthew Bates, Aaron Shibemba, Victor Mudenda, Charles Chimoga, John Tembo, Mwila Kabwe, Moses Chilufya, Michael Hoelscher, Markus Maeurer, Sylvester Sinyangwe, Peter Mwaba, Nathan Kapata and Alimuddin Zumla

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:99

    Published on: 1 July 2016

  10. Research article

    Variation in C - reactive protein response according to host and mycobacterial characteristics in active tuberculosis

    The C - reactive protein (CRP) response is often measured in patients with active tuberculosis (TB) yet little is known about its relationship to clinical features in TB, or whether responses differ between et...

    James Brown, Kristina Clark, Colette Smith, Jennifer Hopwood, Oliver Lynard, Michael Toolan, Dean Creer, Jack Barker, Ronan Breen, Tim Brown, Ian Cropley and Marc Lipman

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:265

    Published on: 10 June 2016

  11. Research article

    Interventions for improving adherence to treatment for latent tuberculosis infection: a systematic review

    Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) control relies on high initiation and completion rates of preventive treatment to preclude progression to tuberculosis disease. Specific interventions may improve initiatio...

    Anke L. Stuurman, Marije Vonk Noordegraaf-Schouten, Femke van Kessel, Anouk M. Oordt-Speets, Andreas Sandgren and Marieke J. van der Werf

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:257

    Published on: 8 June 2016

  12. Research article

    Working conditions and tuberculosis mortality in England and Wales, 1890–1912: a retrospective analysis of routinely collected data

    Modelling studies suggest that workplaces may be important sites of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission in high burden countries today. Contemporary data on tuberculosis by occupation from these settings are ...

    Charlotte Jackson, Joanna H. Mostowy, Helen R. Stagg, Ibrahim Abubakar, Nick Andrews and Tom A. Yates

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:215

    Published on: 20 May 2016

  13. Research article

    Initiation and completion rates for latent tuberculosis infection treatment: a systematic review

    Control of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is an important step towards tuberculosis elimination. Preventive treatment will prevent the development of disease in most cases diagnosed with LTBI. However, l...

    Andreas Sandgren, Marije Vonk Noordegraaf-Schouten, Femke van Kessel, Anke Stuurman, Anouk Oordt-Speets and Marieke J. van der Werf

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:204

    Published on: 17 May 2016

  14. Research article

    The effect of growth rate on pyrazinamide activity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis - insights for early bactericidal activity?

    Pyrazinamide (PZA) plays an essential part in the shortened six-month tuberculosis (TB) treatment course due to its activity against slow-growing and non-replicating organisms. We tested whether PZA preferenti...

    Steven T. Pullan, Jon C. Allnutt, Rebecca Devine, Kim A. Hatch, Rose E. Jeeves, Charlotte L. Hendon-Dunn, Philip D. Marsh and Joanna Bacon

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:205

    Published on: 17 May 2016

  15. Research article

    Human newborn bacille Calmette–Guérin vaccination and risk of tuberculosis disease: a case-control study

    An incomplete understanding of the immunological mechanisms underlying protection against tuberculosis (TB) hampers the development of new vaccines against TB. We aimed to define host correlates of prospective...

    Helen A. Fletcher, Ali Filali-Mouhim, Elisa Nemes, Anthony Hawkridge, Alana Keyser, Samuel Njikan, Mark Hatherill, Thomas J. Scriba, Brian Abel, Benjamin M. Kagina, Ashley Veldsman, Nancy Marín Agudelo, Gilla Kaplan, Gregory D. Hussey, Rafick-Pierre Sekaly and Willem A. Hanekom

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:76

    Published on: 16 May 2016

  16. Research article

    Pulmonary Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare is the main driver of the rise in non-tuberculous mycobacteria incidence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 2007–2012

    The incidence of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) isolation from humans is increasing worldwide. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EW&NI) the reported rate of NTM more than doubled between 1996 and 200...

    Neeraj M. Shah, Jennifer A. Davidson, Laura F. Anderson, Maeve K. Lalor, Jusang Kim, H. Lucy Thomas, Marc Lipman and Ibrahim Abubakar

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:195

    Published on: 6 May 2016

  17. Research article

    The effect of early versus late treatment initiation after diagnosis on the outcomes of patients treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: a systematic review

    Globally it is estimated that 480 000 people developed multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in 2014 and 190 000 people died from the disease. Successful treatment outcomes are achieved in only 50 % of pat...

    Rebecca C. Harris, Louis Grandjean, Laura J. Martin, Alexander J. P. Miller, Joseph-Egre N. Nkang, Victoria Allen, Mishal S. Khan, Katherine Fielding and David A. J. Moore

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:193

    Published on: 4 May 2016

  18. Research article

    Outcomes analysis of new entrant screening for active tuberculosis in Heathrow and Gatwick airports, United Kingdom 2009/2010

    In 2012, the United Kingdom (UK) Government announced that the new entrant screening for active tuberculosis (TB) in Heathrow and Gatwick airports would end. Our study objective was to estimate screening yield...

    Ettore Severi, Helen Maguire, Chikwe Ihekweazu, Graham Bickler and Ibrahim Abubakar

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:178

    Published on: 22 April 2016

  19. Research article

    Profiling persistent tubercule bacilli from patient sputa during therapy predicts early drug efficacy

    New treatment options are needed to maintain and improve therapy for tuberculosis, which caused the death of 1.5 million people in 2013 despite potential for an 86 % treatment success rate. A greater understan...

    Isobella Honeyborne, Timothy D. McHugh, Iitu Kuittinen, Anna Cichonska, Dimitrios Evangelopoulos, Katharina Ronacher, Paul D. van Helden, Stephen H. Gillespie, Delmiro Fernandez-Reyes, Gerhard Walzl, Juho Rousu, Philip D. Butcher and Simon J. Waddell

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:68

    Published on: 7 April 2016

  20. Correspondence

    TIME Impact – a new user-friendly tuberculosis (TB) model to inform TB policy decisions

    Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide, predominantly affecting low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where resources are limited. As such, countries need to be a...

    R. M. G. J. Houben, M. Lalli, T. Sumner, M. Hamilton, D. Pedrazzoli, F. Bonsu, P. Hippner, Y. Pillay, M. Kimerling, S. Ahmedov, C. Pretorius and R. G. White

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:56

    Published on: 24 March 2016

  21. Research article

    The timing of tuberculosis after isoniazid preventive therapy among gold miners in South Africa: a prospective cohort study

    The durability of isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) in preventing tuberculosis (TB) is limited in high-prevalence settings. The underlying mechanism (reactivation of persistent latent TB or reinfection) is no...

    Sabine M. Hermans, Alison D. Grant, Violet Chihota, James J. Lewis, Emilia Vynnycky, Gavin J. Churchyard and Katherine L. Fielding

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:45

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  22. Research article

    Tuberculosis incidence is high in HIV-infected African children but is reduced by co-trimoxazole and time on antiretroviral therapy

    There are few data on tuberculosis (TB) incidence in HIV-infected children on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Observational studies suggest co-trimoxazole prophylaxis may prevent TB, but there are no randomized ...

    Angela M. Crook, Anna Turkova, Victor Musiime, Mutsa Bwakura-Dangarembizi, Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka, Patricia Nahirya-Ntege, Margaret Thomason, Peter Mugyenyi, Philippa Musoke, Adeodata Kekitiinwa, Paula Munderi, Kusum Nathoo, Andrew J. Prendergast, A. Sarah Walker and Diana M. Gibb

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:50

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  23. Research article

    Interpreting whole genome sequencing for investigating tuberculosis transmission: a systematic review

    Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is becoming an important part of epidemiological investigations of infectious diseases due to greater resolution and cost reductions compared to traditional typing approaches. Man...

    Hollie-Ann Hatherell, Caroline Colijn, Helen R. Stagg, Charlotte Jackson, Joanne R. Winter and Ibrahim Abubakar

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:21

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  24. Research article

    Detection of lipoarabinomannan (LAM) in urine is an independent predictor of mortality risk in patients receiving treatment for HIV-associated tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Simple immune capture assays that detect mycobacterial lipoarabinomannan (LAM) antigen in urine are promising new tools for the diagnosis of HIV-associated tuberculosis (HIV-TB). In addition, however, recent p...

    Ankur Gupta-Wright, Jurgens A. Peters, Clare Flach and Stephen D. Lawn

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:53

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  25. Review

    Diagnostic ‘omics’ for active tuberculosis

    The decision to treat active tuberculosis (TB) is dependent on microbiological tests for the organism or evidence of disease compatible with TB in people with a high demographic risk of exposure. The tuberculi...

    Carolin T. Haas, Jennifer K. Roe, Gabriele Pollara, Meera Mehta and Mahdad Noursadeghi

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:37

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  26. Research article

    Towards better guidance on caseload thresholds to promote positive tuberculosis treatment outcomes: a cohort study

    In low-incidence countries, clinical experience of tuberculosis is becoming more limited, with potential consequences for patient outcomes. In 2007, the Department of Health released a guidance ‘toolkit’ recom...

    Helen R. Stagg, Ibrahim Abubakar, James Brown, Maeve K. Lalor, H. Lucy Thomas, Tehreem Mohiyuddin, Debora Pedrazzoli and Corinne S. Merle

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:52

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  27. Research article

    A new trial design to accelerate tuberculosis drug development: the Phase IIC Selection Trial with Extended Post-treatment follow-up (STEP)

    The standard 6-month four-drug regimen for the treatment of drug-sensitive tuberculosis has remained unchanged for decades and is inadequate to control the epidemic. Shorter, simpler regimens are urgently need...

    Patrick P. J. Phillips, Kelly E. Dooley, Stephen H. Gillespie, Norbert Heinrich, Jason E. Stout, Payam Nahid, Andreas H. Diacon, Rob E. Aarnoutse, Gibson S. Kibiki, Martin J. Boeree and Michael Hoelscher

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:51

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  28. Research article

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Pr...

    Jody Phelan, Francesc Coll, Ruth McNerney, David B. Ascher, Douglas E. V. Pires, Nick Furnham, Nele Coeck, Grant A. Hill-Cawthorne, Mridul B. Nair, Kim Mallard, Andrew Ramsay, Susana Campino, Martin L. Hibberd, Arnab Pain, Leen Rigouts and Taane G. Clark

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:31

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  29. Question and Answer

    World TB Day 2016: an interview with leading experts in tuberculosis research

    In this interview, we talk to leading tuberculosis (TB) experts from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine about the current challenges in TB research. The video of t...

    Patrick P. J. Phillips, Helen A. Fletcher, Ibrahim Abubakar, Marc C. I. Lipman and Timothy D. McHugh

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:55

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  30. Review

    Clinical use of whole genome sequencing for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) remains a major challenge to global health and to healthcare in the UK. In 2014, a total of 6,520 cases of TB were recorded in England, of which 1.4 % were multidrug-resistant ...

    Adam A. Witney, Catherine A. Cosgrove, Amber Arnold, Jason Hinds, Neil G. Stoker and Philip D. Butcher

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:46

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  31. Research article

    Rationing tests for drug-resistant tuberculosis – who are we prepared to miss?

    Early identification of patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) increases the likelihood of treatment success and interrupts transmission. Resource-constrained settings use risk profiling to ration t...

    Laura J. Martin, Martha H. Roper, Louis Grandjean, Robert H. Gilman, Jorge Coronel, Luz Caviedes, Jon S. Friedland and David A. J. Moore

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:30

    Published on: 23 March 2016

  32. Debate

    End TB strategy: the need to reduce risk inequalities

    Diseases occur in populations whose individuals differ in essential characteristics, such as exposure to the causative agent, susceptibility given exposure, and infectiousness upon infection in the case of inf...

    M. Gabriela M. Gomes, Maurício L. Barreto, Philippe Glaziou, Graham F. Medley, Laura C. Rodrigues, Jacco Wallinga and S. Bertel Squire

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:132

    Published on: 22 March 2016

  33. Review

    Does tuberculosis threaten our ageing populations?

    The global population is ageing quickly and our understanding of age-related changes in the immune system suggest that the elderly will have less immunological protection from active tuberculosis (TB).

    Rachel Byng-Maddick and Mahdad Noursadeghi

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:119

    Published on: 11 March 2016

  34. Research article

    Comparison of indoor contact time data in Zambia and Western Cape, South Africa suggests targeting of interventions to reduce Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission should be informed by local data

    In high incidence settings, the majority of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) transmission occurs outside the household. Little is known about where people’s indoor contacts occur outside the household, and how t...

    Nicky McCreesh, Clare Looker, Peter J. Dodd, Ian D. Plumb, Kwame Shanaube, Monde Muyoyeta, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Elizabeth L. Corbett, Helen Ayles and Richard G. White

    BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:71

    Published on: 9 February 2016

  35. Research article

    Limited role of culture conversion for decision-making in individual patient care and for advancing novel regimens to confirmatory clinical trials

    Despite recent increased clinical trials activity, no regimen has proved able to replace the standard 6-month regimen for drug-sensitive tuberculosis. Understanding the relationship between microbiological mar...

    Patrick P. J. Phillips, Carl M. Mendel, Divan A. Burger, Angela M. Crook, Andrew J. Nunn, Rodney Dawson, Andreas H. Diacon and Stephen H. Gillespie

    BMC Medicine 2016 14:19

    Published on: 4 February 2016

    The Erratum to this article has been published in BMC Medicine 2016 14:36