肺结核前线

柏林—这个十年是肺结核斗争大有进展的十年。我们也许可以达到2015年将肺结核感染率和死亡率在1990年水平的基础上下降一半的联合国千年发展目标。至少十几种新疫苗和药物候选已进入临床试验,世界卫生组织也支持一项被称为GeneXpert的新诊断测试。

考虑到在20世纪末,自满曾让肺结核新干预疗法的研发陷入完全停顿,这一进步尤其重要。目前使用的肺结核药物是1950—1970年间开发出来的。事实上,Bacille Calmette–Guérin(BCG)疫苗问世已近百年,而使用最广的诊断测试——用显微镜检测痰中的细菌数量——更是拥有130年的历史了。

毫不奇怪,这些工具的效力已有所减弱。目前的疫苗可以防止婴儿患上严重肺结核,但对于所有年龄群体最常见的肺结核并无作用。显微镜观测的出错率也有近一半。

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