To ensure that scientific research of immediate concern is shared as rapidly as possible, we fast-track accepted articles from the IJTLD and PHA and publish them as edited preprints prior to publication in a journal.
C. F. McQuaid, A. Vassall, T. Cohen, K. Fiekert, COVID/TB Modelling Working Group, R. G. White
Article submitted 9 March 2021. Final version accepted 23 March 2021.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, models predicted hundreds of thousands of additional TB deaths as a result of health service disruption. To date, empirical evidence on the effects of COVID-19 on TB outcomes has been limited. In this Review, the authors summarise the evidence available at a country level, identifying broad mechanisms by which COVID-19 may modify TB burden and mitigation efforts. From the data, it is clear that there have been substantial disruption to TB health services and an increase in vulnerability to TB. Evidence for changes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission is limited, and it remains unclear how the resources required and available for the TB response have changed. To advocate for additional funding to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the global TB burden, and to efficiently allocate resources for the TB response, requires a significant improvement in the TB data available.