It is a disease of poverty and mostly affects young adults in their most productive years. In 2009 there were 9.4 million new cases of TB and 1.7 million deaths.
Worldwide deaths from TB fell by 35 per cent between 1990 and 2009.
Symptoms of the disease include a persistent cough lasting more than three weeks that brings up phlegm, which may include blood, breathlessness, a lack of appetite and weight loss and a high temperature.
Famous victims of the disease include writers Emily and Anne Bronte.