Author Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology
and Biostatistics and the Tuberculosis Research Unit, Case Western Reserve
University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio.
In 2003, the World Health Organization reported 8.8 million cases of
tuberculosis (TB) worldwide, nearly half of them presenting with an infectious
form of disease, and resulting in 1.7 million deaths from TB. Since TB transmission
occurs before diagnosis in the index case, even when an optimal TB control
program is in place,1 new and undiagnosed cases
are the driving force behind the current TB epidemic. If each new TB case
in 2003 infected up to 10 susceptible contacts2 before
diagnosis, up to 40 million new infections could have occurred worldwide that
year alone. Since TB has a long period of latent infection, these new infections
added to the pool of existing infections, which represents a source for potential
TB cases in the years, and even decades, to come. One strategy for global
TB control would be to implement an effective screening program in high-risk
populations that would identify individuals with latent TB infection and treat
them to prevent disease.
Whalen CC. Diagnosis of Latent Tuberculosis Infection: Measure for Measure. JAMA. 2005;293(22):2785–2787. doi:10.1001/jama.293.22.2785
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: