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Early Release - Overseas Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection in US–Bound Immigrants - Volume 28, Number 3—March 2022 - Emerging Infectious Diseases journal - CDC


Seventy percent of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the United States occur among non-US-born persons; cases usually result from reactivation of latent TB infection (LTBI) likely acquired before the person's US arrival. We conducted a prospective study among US immigrant visa applicants undergoing the required overseas medical examination in Vietnam. Consenting applicants >15 years of age were offered an interferon-γ release assay (IGRA); those 12-14 years of age received an IGRA as part of the required examination. Eligible participants were offered LTBI treatment with 12 doses of weekly isoniazid and rifapentine. Of 5,311 immigrant visa applicants recruited, 2,438 (46%) consented to participate; 2,276 had an IGRA processed, and 484 (21%) tested positive. Among 452 participants eligible for treatment, 304 (67%) initiated treatment, and 268 (88%) completed treatment. We demonstrated that using the overseas medical examination to provide voluntary LTBI testing and treatment should be considered to advance US TB elimination efforts.

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