On June 11th, 1998, the genome sequence of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB) was completed and published in the scientific journal, Nature.
This allowed scientists around the world to understand tuberculosis better and develop effective treatments. This was groundbreaking because TB is multi-drug resistant (meaning that it’s resistant to more than one antibiotic).
Tuberculosis is an preventable and curable infection caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) which is spread in the air and from person to person via droplets (from coughing and sneezing). It primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body.
According to the World Health Organisation, 1.5 billion people died from TB in 2018 and it remains one of the top 10 leading causes of death globally.