USPSTF Urges Screening for Adults at High Risk of Latent TB

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USPSTF Urges Screening for Adults at High Risk of Latent TB
USPSTF Urges Screening for Adults at High Risk of Latent TB

TUESDAY, March 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in adults at increased risk. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement, published online March 8 by the USPSTF.

Researchers from the USPSTF reviewed the literature to examine the benefits and harms of early detection and treatment of LTBI in higher-risk adults in primary care settings. They included studies that evaluated the tuberculin skin test using the Mantoux method or tests assessing commercial interferon gamma release assays.

The researchers found that there were no studies that compared screening with no screening. Sixty-six studies assessed test accuracy and reliability, and five examined the benefits and harms of treatment. Both the Mantoux and interferon gamma release assays were found to be moderately sensitive and highly specific. No evidence was found for the direct benefits or harms of screening for LTBI. LTBI treatment with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended regimens decreased progression to active tuberculosis; the harms associated with these regimens were small. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement, which is available for public comment from March 8 to April 4, 2016.

"The Task Force recommends that primary care clinicians screen adults at increased risk for LTBI to help prevent the progression to active TB," USPSTF member Francisco García, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement.

Evidence Review
Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendations

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