Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content Preventive chemotherapy. Where has it got us? Where to go next? [State of the art series. Tuberculosis. Edited by I. D. Rusen. Number 2 in the series]

Download Article:
 Download
(PDF 337.4 kb)
 
The World Health Organization estimates that a third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Every second, one person becomes newly infected with tuberculosis (TB). In the past two decades, the spread of human immunodeficiency virus infection, worsening poverty and deteriorating health services have resulted in a steady increase in the overall incidence of TB globally. With treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI), the number of infected persons who develop active TB can be significantly diminished. Prevention through treatment of LTBI should therefore be an integral part of the control of TB.

Although only a minority of those with LTBI will develop active disease, the risk varies substantially according to the time since infection and medical risk factors. If persons at low risk for TB are selected for preventive chemotherapy, the individual and public health benefits are low, and a large number will have to be treated to prevent a single active case. It is therefore important to identify and treat patients who are at high risk of disease.

Tools for rapid and reliable identification of persons with LTBI who are most likely to progress to active disease are urgently needed, as this will permit rational use of preventive treatment by restricting treatment to those patients with the most favourable risk/benefit ratio. The major challenges are efficient identification of those at highest risk of developing disease and ensuring treatment completion with a non-toxic regimen. If these can be overcome, preventive treatment holds the promise to substantially assist in the achievement of global control of TB.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: drug treatment; interferon-gamma release assay; latent infection; tuberculin skin testing; tuberculosis prevention

Document Type: Invited Paper

Affiliations: Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit, Montreal Chest Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Publication date: December 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

    The IJTLD is dedicated to understanding lung disease and to the dissemination of knowledge leading to better lung health. To allow us to share scientific research as rapidly as possible, the IJTLD is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles as preprints prior to their publication. Read fast-track articles.

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
  • Public Health Action
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more