Drugs for Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection
An estimated 2 billion individuals—a third of the world's population—have been exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and carry the infection in its latent form, retaining a lifelong risk of developing TB disease. Programs to control tuberculosis now focus on childhood vaccination and treatment for people with active disease. Reversing TB's spread, however, requires an intervention that will prevent disease in those who are already infected. The lack of knowledge about the biology of latent TB infection stands in the way of the development of such an intervention. Dr. Young is leading an international team of researchers from the U.K., U.S., Singapore, Korea, and Mexico that is attempting to further elucidate the fundamental biology of latency and use this knowledge to develop drugs against latent TB.