Tuberculosis 2007 is the result of a joint effort in response to the Amedeo Challenge to write and publish a medical textbook on tuberculosis. This non-profit-making ini-tiative is particularly attractive due to several reasons. First, the medium chosen for dissemination: the book will be readily available on the internet and access will be free to anyone. Second, its advantage over books published via traditional media is the ease to update the information on a regular basis. Third, with the exception of Spanish and Portuguese, no copyright is allocated and the translation of Tuberculo-sis 2007 to all other languages is highly encouraged.
These innovations in the way of publication were translated to the organization of the chapters in the book. This is not a classical textbook on tuberculosis diagno-sis, management, and treatment. On the contrary, it is a multidisciplinary approach addressing a full range of topics, from basic science to patient care. Most authors are former members of RELACTB – a Tuberculosis Research Network for Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe sponsored by the United Nations University – and have worked on collaborative projects since 1995.
Classical knowledge about the disease is focused on chapters dedicated to the history of tuberculosis, microbiology of the tubercle bacillus, description of the disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex members in adults, chil-dren, and HIV/AIDS patients, conventional epidemiology, diagnostics, biosafety, and treatment.
More recent findings, which have changed our knowledge about tuberculosis in the last years, are detailed in chapters on the molecular evolution of the M. tuber-culosis complex, molecular epidemiology, host genetics, immune response and susceptibility to tuberculosis, studies on the pathogenesis of tuberculosis in animal models, and new diagnostic and drug resistance detection approaches.
Perspectives for future research relevant to fighting the disease have also been included in chapters focusing on the “omics” technologies, from genomics to pro-teomics, metabolomics and lipidomics, and on research dedicated to the develop-ment of new vaccines and new diagnostic methods, and are discussed in the last chapter.
Nowadays, medical science should not be limited to academic circles but read-ily translated into practical applications aimed at patient care and control of dis-ease. Thus, we expect that our initiative will stimulate the interest of readers not only in solving clinical topics on the management of tuberculosis but also in posing new questions back to basic science, fostering a continuous bi-directional interac-tion of medical care, and clinical and basic research.
Juan Carlos Palomino, Sylvia Cardoso Leão, Viviana Ritacco
Belgium, Brazil, Argentina – June 2007