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Advancing latent tuberculosis infection screening in immunosuppressed patients: listen to the evidence.

Date: Wednesday 22 November, 2023
Time: 11:30 AM GMT

  • Roy F. Chemaly, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA, CMQ
    Professor of Medicine; Chair of the Department of Infectious
    Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health; and Director of the Clinical Virology Research Program
    University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
  • James Galloway
    Professor of Rheumatology and Deputy Head of the
    Centre for Rheumatic Diseases
    King's College, London.
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Tuberculosis - a continuing threat to global health 

Up until the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, tuberculosis (TB) was the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS1. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that around 10 million people fall ill with active TB every year, and sadly 1.6 million people died from TB in 2021 alone1. However, the challenge with the global epidemic of TB is that the devastating impact of active TB is just the beginning.

TB facts and figures

Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) – critical to TB management, especially in the immunosuppressed

Almost 2 billion people, or around 25% of the global population are infected with latent TB2.

LTBI screening is increasingly being recognized as critical to TB management. LTBI screening is the process of identifying and testing individuals who may be at risk of becoming infected with TB, or those who may be at high risk of progression from latent to active TB, like the immunosuppressed population.

Due to their weakened immune systems, immunosuppressed patients have reduced T cell numbers, and their T cells may not be functioning properly, meaning that they produce less interferon-gamma. This decreased production poses a challenge in accurate diagnosis, and it is essential to choose the right interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) methodology when testing for LTBI in immunosuppressed patients.

The WHO, ECDC, and CDC are unified in their endorsement of interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) tests for LTBI screening in the immunosuppressed.

Who are the immunosuppressed
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1. World Health Organization. Global tuberculosis report 2022. Geneva; 2022. Licence CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
2. World Health Organization. Global tuberculosis report 2021. Geneva; 2021. Licence CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.Products may not be licensed in accordance with the laws in all countries.

Products may not be licensed in accordance with the laws in all countries. Please check with your local representative for availability. Revvity, Inc. does not endorse or make recommendations with respect to research, medication, or treatments. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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