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Tuberculosis (TB) news, resources and funding for global health researchers

A major cause of death and disability worldwide, tuberculosis is a contagious lung disease that spreads through the air when people infected with it cough, sneeze, talk or spit. TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which usually attacks the lungs, but can affect other parts of the body like the kidney, spine and brain. The disease can be fatal if not treated properly.

According to the World Health Organization, there are almost 2 million TB-related deaths each year, and more than 9 million people around the world become sick with the disease annually. In 2009, almost 10 million children were orphaned as a result of parental deaths caused by TB. The spread of multidrug-resistant TB is a growing global threat, with hundreds of thousands of new cases emerging each year.

TB coinfection with HIV/AIDS is also a serious health issue and a leading cause of death worldwide among people with HIV. Several NIH research and research training programs are helping to reduce the impact of tuberculosis both in the U.S. and overseas.

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Updated June 6, 2024