Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis: concentrate resources on recent infections

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 15 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6485
  1. Paul D van Helden, professor emeritus,
  2. Eileen G Hoal, professor emerita
  1. DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, South African Medical Research Council Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, PO Box 241, Cape Town 8000, South Africa
  1. pvh{at}

Behr and colleagues1 conclude that tuberculosis (TB) has a much shorter incubation time than previously thought. This is supported by a considerable body of circumstantial and direct evidence—for example, the multiple papers that show that recent transmission (RT) is high, even in developed countries with low incidence. Estimates ranging from 80-96% for RT data fit well with the estimates of …

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