Journal Article

Community-Wide Implementation of Targeted Testing for and Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection

Charles M. Nolan

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 4, pages 880-887
Published in print August 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/520453
Community-Wide Implementation of Targeted Testing for and Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection

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Treatment of latent infection due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis will likely increase in importance as a strategy to prevent tuberculosis in the United States. This review was undertaken to assess how targeted testing and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection are currently organized, with a focus on the extension of those services from public health clinics to other community sites. Targeted testing programs are now being implemented in primary care neighborhood clinics, syringeexchange programs, jails, and teen health clinics. Organizational issues at those new sites include the need for a tracking system for clinical follow-up and for incentives to promote adherence. There is increasing experience with directly observed treatment of latent tuberculosis infection. Communities that receive large numbers of immigrants and refugees should prioritize the evaluation of those whose chest radiographs are suggestive of tuberculosis. Current studies continue to point out imperfections in the current tools, such as the tuberculin skin test and isoniazid. Finally, the advent of managed care, especially for Medicaid recipients, presents both opportunities and challenges for expansion of population-based preventive health services.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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