Every second one more person is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis – the culprit behind the disease commonly known as TB. Scientist Dr Robert Koch announced his discovery of the cause of TB on this day – now declared World TB Day – in 1882. Approximately a third of the world’s population is infected with M. tuberculosis, of which ten per cent are destined to develop TB. Today’s researchers continue to probe how this disease can be combatted. Among them is Professor Robert Wilkinson of Imperial College London, who talks here about what the future holds for TB as part of Strictly Science – the Medical Research Council’s centenary celebrations. In 1993 the World Health Organisation declared TB a global emergency and in 2050 the Stop TB Partnership hopes to finally eradicate this disease, which kills 4000 people every day – second only to HIV/AIDS in rankings for global deaths due to a single infectious agent.
Written by Lux Fatimathas
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