series event

Is tuberculosis infection lifelong?

The seminar will challenge the idea of TB being a lifelong infection using reviews of recent studies. 

Tuberculosis has been held to be a life-long infection by most who study the disease, with this concept playing an important role in TB elimination efforts by WHO and national organizations.

The WHO says that “About 1.7 billion people, 23% of the world’s population, are estimated to have a latent TB infection, and are thus at risk of developing active TB disease during their lifetime. Priorities for TB research and development include a vaccine or new drug treatment to cut the risk of TB disease in the 1.7 billion people already latently infected...”

Based on reviews of studies of the viability of M. tuberculosis in asymptomatic people, the relationship between TB infection and M. tuberculosis immunoreactivity, and of TB rates in M. tuberculosis immunoreactive immunosuppressed people, the speakers, Prof Lalita Ramakrishnan and Prof Paul Edelstein will conclude that in only 0.1 to 10% of immunoreactive people is the infection life-long, with self-cure of the infection being common.

The finding has important consequences for public health policies, including elimination efforts, as well as the focus of basic science studies on TB pathogenesis and persistence.


This session will be live-streamed/recorded - accessible to both internal and external audience

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Open to all on a first come, first served basis