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World TB Day

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”. 

  1. Content type: Research article

    In Canada, tuberculosis disproportionately affects foreign-born and First Nations populations. Within First Nations’ peoples, a high proportion of cases occur in association with outbreaks. Tuberculosis transm...

    Authors: Alexander Doroshenko, Caitlin S. Pepperell, Courtney Heffernan, Mary Lou Egedahl, Tatum D. Mortimer, Tracy M. Smith, Hailey E. Bussan, Gregory J. Tyrrell and Richard Long

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2018 16:128

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  2. Content type: Research article

    Little is known about the impact of growing migration on the pattern of tuberculosis (TB) transmission in middle-income countries. We estimated TB recent transmission and its associated factors and investigate...

    Authors: Julia Moreira Pescarini, Vera Simonsen, Lucilaine Ferrazoli, Laura C. Rodrigues, Rosangela S. Oliveira, Eliseu Alves Waldman and Rein Houben

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2018 16:62

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  3. Content type: Research article

    Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a growing concern in meeting global targets for TB control. In high-income low-TB-incidence countries, a disproportionate number of MDR-TB cases occur in migrant (f...

    Authors: Laura B. Nellums, Kieran Rustage, Sally Hargreaves and Jon S. Friedland

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2018 16:27

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  4. Content type: Research article

    Depression in tuberculosis increases the risk for adverse health outcomes. However, little is known about comorbid depression and tuberculosis in the general population. Thus, we assessed the association betwe...

    Authors: Ai Koyanagi, Davy Vancampfort, André F. Carvalho, Jordan E. DeVylder, Josep Maria Haro, Damiano Pizzol, Nicola Veronese and Brendon Stubbs

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2017 15:209

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  5. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2017 15:105

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  6. Content type: Research article

    In North America, tuberculosis incidence is now very low and risk to healthcare workers has fallen. Indeed, recent cohort data question routine annual tuberculosis screening in this context. We compared the co...

    Authors: Guillaume A. Mullie, Kevin Schwartzman, Alice Zwerling and Dieynaba S. N’Diaye

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2017 15:104

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  7. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2017 15:71

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  8. Content type: Research article

    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. ...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:187

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  9. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:479

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  10. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:470

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  11. Content type: Correspondence

    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...

    Authors: Mishal S. Khan, Helen Fletcher and Richard Coker

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:123

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  12. Content type: Research article

    The largest outbreak of isoniazid-resistant (INH-R) Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Western Europe is centred in North London, with over 400 cases diagnosed since 1995.

    Authors: Giovanni Satta, Adam A. Witney, Robert J. Shorten, Magdalena Karlikowska, Marc Lipman and Timothy D. McHugh

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:117

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  13. Content type: Research article

    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 ...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:412

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  14. Content type: Research article

    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 ...

    Authors: 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…

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:366

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  15. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:99

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  16. Content type: Review

    Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is extremely challenging due to the virulence of the etiologic strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb), the aberrant host immune responses and the dimi...

    Authors: Alimuddin Zumla, Martin Rao, Ernest Dodoo and Markus Maeurer

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:89

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  17. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:265

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  18. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:257

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  19. Content type: Research article

    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 ...

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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:215

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  20. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:205

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  21. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:204

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  22. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:76

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  23. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:195

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  24. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:193

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  25. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:178

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  26. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:68

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  27. Content type: Correspondence

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:56

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  28. Content type: Question and Answer

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:55

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  29. Content type: Opinion

    The prevalence of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) disease is rising. An understanding of known risk factors for disease sheds light on the immunological and physical barriers to infection, and how and why t...

    Authors: M. Alexandra Lake, Lyn R. Ambrose, Marc C. I. Lipman and David M. Lowe

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:54

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  30. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:53

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  31. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:52

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  32. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:51

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  33. Content type: Research article

    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 ...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:50

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  34. Content type: Review

    Tuberculosis (TB) causes significant morbidity and mortality in high-income countries with foreign-born individuals bearing a disproportionate burden of the overall TB case burden in these countries. In this r...

    Authors: Manish Pareek, Christina Greenaway, Teymur Noori, Jose Munoz and Dominik Zenner

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:48

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  35. Content type: Editorial

    Tuberculosis is a major global cause of morbidity and mortality. Despite recent advances in containing the epidemic, several challenges continue to slow progress towards elimination including the continuing im...

    Authors: Ibrahim Abubakar, Marc Lipman, Timothy D. McHugh and Helen Fletcher

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:47

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  36. Content type: Review

    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 ...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:46

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  37. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:45

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  38. Content type: Research article

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem requiring complex treatment, the success of which depends on biological, social, and institutional factors. São Paulo State (SPS), in Brazil, has a high TB bu...

    Authors: Otavio T. Ranzani, Carlos R. R. Carvalho, Eliseu A. Waldman and Laura C. Rodrigues

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:41

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  39. Content type: Review

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:37

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  40. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:31

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  41. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:30

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  42. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:21

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  43. Content type: Debate

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:132

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  44. Content type: Review

    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).

    Authors: Rachel Byng-Maddick and Mahdad Noursadeghi

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:119

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  45. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 16:71

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  46. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:19

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