Identifying components for programmatic latent tuberculosis infection control in the European Union.

Euro surveillance : bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin

PubMedID: 27589214

Sandgren A, Vonk Noordegraaf-Schouten JM, Oordt-Speets AM, van Kessel GB, de Vlas SJ, van der Werf MJ. Identifying components for programmatic latent tuberculosis infection control in the European Union. Euro Surveill. 2016;21(34):.
Individuals with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are the reservoir of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a population and as long as this reservoir exists, elimination of tuberculosis (TB) will not be feasible. In 2013, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) started an assessment of benefits and risks of introducing programmatic LTBI control, with the aim of providing guidance on how to incorporate LTBI control into national TB strategies in European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) Member States and candidate countries. In a first step, experts from the Member States, candidate countries, and international and national organisations were consulted on the components of programmatic LTBI control that should be considered and evaluated in literature reviews, mathematical models and cost-effectiveness studies. This was done through a questionnaire and two interactive discussion rounds. The main components identified were identification and targeting of risk groups, determinants of LTBI and progression to active TB, optimal diagnostic tests for LTBI, effective preventive treatment regimens, and to explore the potential for combining LTBI control with other health programmes. Political commitment, a solid healthcare infrastructure, and favourable economic situation in specific countries were identified as essential to facilitate the implementation of programmatic LTBI control.