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Editorial
September 6, 2016

The Challenge of Latent TB Infection

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Emory Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 3Department of Global Health, Emory Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 4Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
  • 5Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
  • 6Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
JAMA. 2016;316(9):931-933. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11021

Tuberculosis (TB) is an enormous global public health problem and has emerged as the leading cause of death linked to a single pathogen: deaths attributable to TB now exceed those attributable to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (1.5 million vs 1.2 million in 2014).1 The World Health Organization estimates that there were 9.6 million new TB cases in 2014.1 The large majority of cases occur in low- and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. In the United States, 9563 cases of TB were reported in 2015, for a rate of 3 cases per 100 000.2 The global TB epidemic affects the United States because about two-thirds of US TB cases occur among non–US-born persons; higher rates of TB are also found among US-born persons of color.2 Tuberculosis remains an important public health problem in selected geographic areas.2 In 2013, 555 deaths attributable to TB were reported in the United States, the most recent year for which these data are available.3

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