At the start of the 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Liverpool, UK, an international group of top TB experts from several leading institutions published a primer on tuberculosis (TB) in the journal Nature Reviews Disease Primers (http://www.nature.com/nrdp). The 23-page primer, part of a series featuring the latest state-of-the-art advances in various health fields, can be freely downloaded at http://www.nature.com/articles/nrdp201676 for a 1-month period only.

This Primer comes close on the heels of the newly released World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Report 2016. The report shows that TB continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with an estimated 10.4 million new cases in 2015, and 1.8 million deaths, including 0.4 million among people with HIV. TB is now the leading infectious killer and among the top 10 biggest causes of deaths worldwide, responsible for more deaths than HIV and malaria.

The Primer on TB, the first coverage of this topic by Nature Reviews Disease Primers, provides an authoritative, global perspective for the benefit of biomedical scientists, putting current clinical and translational challenges in tackling the disease into context. It covers recent advances in our understanding of the microbiology, immunology, diagnosis and treatment of TB.

The Primer provides a detailed summary of the pipeline of new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines, as most of the current tools available are decades old and do not effectively contain the disease. It also presents an overview of special topics such as management of drug-resistant TB, childhood TB and HIV-associated TB. The WHO’s End TB Strategy is then described, along with a survey of key research priorities to meet the targets for 2030 set out in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the End TB Strategy.

Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme and senior author of the Primer, said “The recent WHO Global TB Report 2016 highlights the need for increased action and investments by countries, partners and donors to intensify the implementation of existing innovations and scale up the development of new tools through research. The challenges are enormous as we push forward to reach the ambitious global targets of ending the TB epidemic. We can get there only through joint efforts and better understanding of the common enemy. This state-of-the-art review intends to contribute to our knowledge featuring the most recent advances in the science of TB that will result ultimately in better tools, stronger policies and concrete results in the future.”

“The McGill International TB Centre was honored to have the opportunity to coordinate the production of this Primer, and we thank all the co-authors and partner institutions for their contributions and support,” said Professors Madhukar Pai and Marcel Behr, the joint first authors of the Primer.

Experts from the following institutions contributed to this Primer: McGill International TB Centre, McGill University; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; University of Cape Town; FIND; Aeras; Indian Council of Medical Research; TB Alliance; and the WHO Global TB Programme.

A one page PrimeView, an illustrated summary of the Primer, can be downloaded at http://www.nature.com/articles/nrdp201677. Hard copies of the Primer will be distributed to all delegates participating at the Union conference.

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Marcel Behr

Director, McGill McGill International TB Centre

Professor of Medicine, McGill University

Microbiologist-in-Chief, McGill University Health Centre

Montreal, Canada

Email: marcel.behr@mcgill.ca

October 27, 2016