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Slight Decline in U.S. Prevalence of Latent TB From 2000 to 2011

Slight Decline in U.S. Prevalence of Latent TB From 2000 to 2011
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MONDAY, Aug. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — From 2000 to 2011 there was a slight decline in the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in the United States, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

James D. Mancuso, M.D., Dr.P.H., from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues used the tuberculin skin test (TST) and an interferon-γ release assay to estimate the prevalence of LTBI in the United States. Data were used from the 2011 to 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 6,083 participants aged 6 years and older.

The researchers found that the estimated prevalence of LTBI was 4.4 percent as measured by TST and 4.88 percent as measured by QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test, corresponding to 12,398,000 and 13,628,000 individuals, respectively, in 2011 to 2012. Since 2000, there was a slight decline in prevalence among U.S. born, while prevalence was consistent among foreign born. Compared with more recent cohorts, prevalence was higher among earlier birth cohorts. Foreign born, close contact with a case of TB, and certain racial/ethnic groups were higher risk groups.

“After years of decline, the prevalence of LTBI remained relatively constant between 2000 and 2011,” the authors write. “The updated estimates of LTBI and associated risk groups can help improve targeted testing and treatment in the United States.”

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