Cavitary tuberculosis: the gateway of disease transmission

Michael E. Urbanowski, Alvaro A. Ordonez, Camilo A. Ruiz-Bedoya, Sanjay K. Jain, William R. Bishai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Tuberculosis continues to be a major threat to global health. Cavitation is a dangerous consequence of pulmonary tuberculosis associated with poor outcomes, treatment relapse, higher transmission rates, and development of drug resistance. However, in the antibiotic era, cavities are often identified as the most extreme outcome of treatment failure and are one of the least-studied aspects of tuberculosis. We review the epidemiology, clinical features, and concurrent standards of care for individuals with cavitary tuberculosis. We also discuss developments in the understanding of tuberculosis cavities as dynamic physical and biochemical structures that interface the host response with a unique mycobacterial niche to drive tuberculosis-associated morbidity and transmission. Advances in preclinical models and non-invasive imaging can provide valuable insights into the drivers of cavitation. These insights will guide the development of specific pharmacological interventions to prevent cavitation and improve lung function for individuals with tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e117-e128
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Cavitary tuberculosis: the gateway of disease transmission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this