Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is categorized as one of the top infectious killers worldwide, despite being a preventable and curable disease, due to the devastating health, social and economic impact it poses.1, 2

Each year, 10 million people are getting infected with TB, with 1.5 million deaths recorded in 2018.1, 2 Around 57% of which infected are men, 32% are women and 11% are children who are 15 years old and below. The SouthEast Asia region has been reported to have the highest distribution of TB cases.3

TB is also the leading cause of death in people with HIV, with 251,000 deaths reported and one of the main contributors to antimicrobial resistance with 484,000 individuals who fell ill with drug-resistant TB in 2018.1, 2

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a bacteria that is responsible for TB infection by affecting the lungs.2, 4 TB is spread through airborne transmission when a person with the disease coughs, sneezes or spits and another individual needs to only inhale a few germs from the infected droplets to become infected.4

Most TB cases are reported to progress from latent TB infection (LTBI) rather than local transmission, especially in those whose immune systems are weakened. Hence, the transmission of the infectious TB can be prevented through prompt case finding and treatment of LTBI as a crucial strategy to achieve the elimination of TB.4, 5, 6




  1. World Tuberculosis Day 2020. (n.d.). World Health Organization. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from
  2. Tuberculosis. (n.d.). World Health Organization. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from
  3. World Health Organization. (2019). TB Report (1.1) [Mobile App]. Play Store.
  4. Latent TB Infection and TB Disease. (2016). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  5. Lönnroth, K., Migliori, G. B., Abubakar, I., D’Ambrosio, L., De Vries, G., Diel, R., … & Ochoa, E. R. G. (2015). Towards tuberculosis elimination: an action framework for low-incidence countries. European Respiratory Journal, 45(4), 928-952.
  6. Dobler, C. C., Martin, A., & Marks, G. B. (2015). Benefit of treatment of latent tuberculosis infection in individual patients. European Respiratory Journal, 46(5), 1397-1406.

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