Fewer people will contract tuberculosis (TB) this year than last. That is good news, and enough to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goal that called “to halt and begin to reverse the incidence” of TB. But the pace of progress is too slow. Some 8.6 million people contracted the disease in 2012, and 1.3 million died, including 320,000 people with HIV. As it stands, the world will miss the international target to eliminate TB by 2050. To meet that ambitious goal, we need to modernize the way in which we tackle the disease. This means that fundamental research must play a bigger part in nurturing the development of diagnostics, medicines and vaccines.
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