Epidemic and pandemic viral infections: Impact on tuberculosis and the lung: European Respiratory Journal

C.W.M. Ong, G.B. Migliori, M. Raviglione, G. MacGregor-Skinner, G. Sotgiu, J.-W. Alffenaar, S. Tiberi, C. Adlhoch, T. Alonzi, S. Archuleta, S. Brusin, E. Cambau, M.R. Capobianchi, C. Castilletti, R. Centis, D.M. Cirillo, L. D'Ambrosio, G. Delogu, S.M.R. Esposito, J. FigueroaJ.S. Friedland, B.C.H. Ho, G. Ippolito, M. Jankovic, H.Y. Kim, S.R. Klintz, C. Ködmön, E. Lalle, Y.S. Leo, C.-C. Leung, A.-G. Märtson, M.G. Melazzini, S.N. Fard, P. Penttinen, L. Petrone, E. Petruccioli, E. Pontali, L. Saderi, M. Santin, A. Spanevello, R. Van Crevel, M.J. Van der Werf, D. Visca, M. Viveiros, J.-P. Zellweger, A. Zumla, D. Goletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Major epidemics, including some that qualify as pandemics, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), HIV, influenza A (H1N1)pdm/09 and most recently COVID-19, affect the lung. Tuberculosis (TB) remains the top infectious disease killer, but apart from syndemic TB/HIV little is known regarding the interaction of viral epidemics and pandemics with TB. The aim of this consensus-based document is to describe the effects of viral infections resulting in epidemics and pandemics that affect the lung (MERS, SARS, HIV, influenza A (H1N1)pdm/09 and COVID-19) and their interactions with TB. A search of the scientific literature was performed. A writing committee of international experts including the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Public Health Emergency (ECDC PHE) team, the World Association for Infectious Diseases and Immunological Disorders (WAidid), the Global Tuberculosis Network (GTN), and members of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Study Group for Mycobacterial Infections (ESGMYC) was established. Consensus was achieved after multiple rounds of revisions between the writing committee and a larger expert group. A Delphi process involving the core group of authors (excluding the ECDC PHE team) identified the areas requiring review/consensus, followed by a second round to refine the definitive consensus elements. The epidemiology and immunology of these viral infections and their interactions with TB are discussed with implications for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of airborne infections (infection control, viral containment and workplace safety). This consensus document represents a rapid and comprehensive summary on what is known on the topic. ©ERS 2020.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEur. Respir. J.
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral
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  • Respiratory Tract Infections
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