Tuberculosis (TB) cannot be eliminated in the United States without increased efforts to test and treat latent TB infection. Today, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a recommendation that supports CDC guidance to test for latent tuberculosis infection in populations that are at increased risk. These groups include:
- People born in or who frequently travel to countries where TB disease is common, including Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, China, Haiti, and Guatemala; or other countries with high rates of TB.
- People who currently, or used to, live in large group settings, such as homeless shelters or prisons and jails where TB is more common.
CDC also recommends testing for TB infection among healthcare workers, contacts of people with confirmed or suspected TB disease, and as part of disease management for people with certain conditions, such as HIV and diabetes, or as indicated prior to the use of certain medications.
This recommendation provides a new opportunity for the TB community to draw attention to latent TB infection and educate the public, health care providers, at-risk populations, and policy makers on the importance of targeted testing and treatment for latent TB infection. CDC has latent TB infection resources that partners can use as part of outreach and education with affected communities and the health care providers serving these communities. A PDF document with CDC key messages and a list of helpful resources is attached.
Thank you for your work and commitment to eliminate TB.
Philip LoBue, MD, FACP, FCCP
Director, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention