TB Screening & Treatment Guidelines Updated
The peer-review journal JAMA Network today published updated U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) tuberculosis (TB) screening and treatment guidelines.
The USPSTF estimated TB prevalence is about 5% or up to 13 million persons.
In the U.S., TB remains a significant preventable disease, including active tuberculosis, which may be infectious, and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI), which is asymptomatic and not infectious but can later progress to active disease.
Announced on May 2, 2023, the USPSTF concluded with a moderate net benefit in preventing active TB by screening for LTBI in persons at increased risk for tuberculosis infection.
The precise prevalence rate of LTBI in the US is difficult to determine.
TB is spread through respiratory transmission.
Approximately 30% of persons exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis will develop LTBI, and if left untreated, about 5% to 10% of healthy, immunocompetent persons will progress to having active tuberculosis disease.
This recommendation replaces the 2016 USPSTF recommendation on LTBI screening.
In the U.S., various cities and states are confronting TB outbreaks in 2023.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on March 23, 2023, TB cases increased by 5% or more in some cities, such as Houston, in 2022.
Unfortunately, this recommendation does not mention the 100-year-old BCG vaccine as an option to protect children from TB.
As of May 3, 2023, numerous countries offer various BCG vaccines to children to prevent TB.