Despite increased international mobilization in recent years, tuberculosis (TB) continues to be one of the deadliest diseases of our time. It ranks as the 13th leading cause of death, and the second leading cause of death due to an infectious disease worldwide. Progress to eradicate the disease is slow1: between 2015 and 2020, the cumulative decrease in disease incidence amounted to 11%, only half of the target set in the WHO Strategy to End TB2. However, TB is a disease that can be prevented, treated, and cured. However, the diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines currently available are still not sufficiently effective, fast, and appropriate.
Albeit these gaps, international funding for research and development (R&D) of new tools remains inadequate. Increasing investments in this area is effective and even more urgent as we are facing a worrisome global rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). For this reason, we call on the EU to capitalize on its historical leadership in the fight against TB and to seize the opportunity offered by the latest advances in medical technologies, as well as the upcoming United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB in September 2023, to announce new ambitious political and financial commitments.