Epidemiology of tuberculosis in the world

Francis Drobniewski*, A. Pablos-Méndez, M. C. Raviglione

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Tuberculosis is the most important single cause of infectious disease in the world today, causing 8 million new cases and 3 million deaths annually. Almost one third of the world's population is infected with the causative organism, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The declining trend in cases ceased or reversed in the developed and parts of the developing world during the 1080s. In most developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia, the trend continues to deteriorate due to failure to give priority to, or poorly organized, programs with low case finding and cure, lack of international donors support, coinfection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), increasing homelessness, and increasing institutional outbreaks. Although modern short course combination chemotherapy is highly effective, mortality rates remain high in these areas. Drug resistance, particularly resistance to isoniazid and rifampin (MDR-TB), poses a significant problem to control programs but with some exceptions has not been Surveyed systematically; the WHO/IUATLD Global Surveillance Project was established to address this deficiency and its role is as described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-429
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • AIDS
  • Multiple drug resistant tuberculosis
  • Short-course chemotherapy
  • Tuberculosis


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