Tuberculosis cases have increased by more than 150 over the last year, according to public health figures.
Provisional figures released by the Health Protection Agency show that cases of TB in England, Wales and Northern Ireland increased 2% from 8,008 in 2005 to 8,171 in 2006. London continues to account for the highest proportion of cases reported.
Dr John Watson, head of the agency's respiratory diseases department, said: 'Since the late 1980s the number of people diagnosed with TB has risen every year and, in line with this trend, 2006 shows a slight increase.
'During 2005 we saw a large rise in the number of cases reported. We therefore need to be cautious about predicting future trends based on 2006 figures alone. At this stage, it is too early to tell whether these provisional results for 2006 signify a slowing in the overall trend of increase in the number of cases,' he said.