Tuberculosis (TB) has been one of the most important human diseases for centuries now. It is mainly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a highly elusive bacillus. This intracellular pathogen does not possess the classic bacterial virulence factors. However, M. tuberculosis efficiently evades the immune response by complex and manipulative mechanisms, which enable survival for as long as decades. The fight with such a smart rival gives rise to the necessity for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The ability to rapidly detect M. tuberculosis in clinical specimens, as well as drug resistance, is essential for the appropriate treatment of TB patients and the prevention of spread of drug-resistant strains. New molecular tools are now used in many countries as part of a standard laboratory diagnosis. It is clear that important advances in TB diagnosis have recently been made and potentially useful new tools are emerging. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to be done, especially in high-burden countries where fast identification and early treatment are needed.
- Diagnostic tools
- Drug resistance
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine