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Screening contacts of patients with extrapulmonary TB for latent TB infection
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  • Published on:
    Contact screening in TB: is it time to re-brand?
    • Matthew Burman, Research Fellow/Respiratory Registrar Institute for Population Health Science, Queen Mary University of London
    • Other Contributors:
      • Simon Tiberi, Infectious Diseases Consultant
      • Vicky Hickson, Research Nurse
      • Ananna Rahman, Research Fellow/Respiratory Registrar
      • Jessica Potter, Research Fellow/Respiratory Registrar
      • Heinke Kunst, Senior Lecturer/Respiratory Consultant

    We welcome the letter by Anna Humphreys and colleagues highlighting the secondary benefits of screening contacts of extra pulmonary tuberculosis for LTBI in areas where active cases are predominantly amongst the non-UK born (1). 
     
    We share the view that novel approaches are needed to identify and offer testing to those at risk of LTBI, and that contact tracing provides a unique opportunity to reach those who may be eligible.  

    Early results from the London Borough of Newham, the pilot site for the national latent TB screening programme highlight that uptake of LTBI screening amongst recent migrants is only 40 percent (2). Efforts are being made to improve awareness including animated health promotion tools (https://youtu.be/tKwAHJ7JeV0) and TB Alert’s Latent TB Handbook (https://www.tbalert.org/health-professionals/ltbi-toolkit/) and novel interventions to improve LTBI screening and treatment uptake are being implemented across the country. We are currently investigating the efficacy of managing LTBI entirely within primary care (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03069807). Recent work has also identified that opportunistic LTBI screening in non-health settings is acceptable to recent migrants (3).
     
    In areas where the majority of active cases are amongst those...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.