One of the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations is to end the disease tuberculosis by 2030.  In 2015, 1 in 3 HIV-positive patients died because of tuberculosis. The death rate due to tuberculosis has already dropped by 47% worldwide between 1990 and 2015. The disease is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which typically enters the body via the airways to end up in the lungs. In the lungs it can multiply and cause an infection of the alveoli, or in other words, pneumonia. Mycobacterium tuberculosis can be active or latent. A risk of the latent state is the unawareness of the disease until long after infection, creating a chance of reactivation of the bacterial infection when the immune system of the host is weak. One of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals  was halting and reversing the tuberculosis epidemic. This goal has been met. The Sustainable Development Goals for health envision that apart from tuberculosis, also the epidemics of AIDS and malaria will end in 2030. Vaccination, drug development and diagnostics improvement are the key tools to achieve these goals.  A good candidate technology for diagnostics improvement could be nanotechnology. On the nanoscale, materials exhibit interesting properties such as plasmonic activity, which properties could potentially be used in a protocol for detection of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the infecting organisms.
|Award date||20 May 2016|
|Place of Publication||enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 20 May 2016|