Bridging Implementation, Knowledge, Ambition Gaps to Eliminate Tuberculosis

Emerging Infectious Diseases
Volume 17, Number 3–March 2011

Bridging Implementation, Knowledge, and Ambition Gaps to Eliminate Tuberculosis in the United States and Globally
K.G. Castro and P. Lobue

We reflect on remarkable accomplishments in global tuberculosis (TB) control and identify persistent obstacles to the successful elimination of TB from the United States and globally. One hundred and twenty nine years after Koch’s discovery of the etiologic agent of TB, this health scourge continues to account for 9.4 million cases and 1.7 million deaths annually worldwide. Implementation of the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course strategy from 1995 through 2009 has saved 6 million lives. TB control is increasingly being achieved in countries with high-income economies, yet TB continues to plague persons living in countries with low-income and lower-middle–income economies. To accelerate progress against the global effects of disease caused by TB and achieve its elimination, we must bridge 3 key gaps in implementation, knowledge, and ambition.