Tuberculosis secondary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mashal Awais, M.D.[2]; Alejandro Lemor, M.D. [3]


Secondary prevention for tuberculosis refers to the methods that are used for screening and early diagnosis, such as tuberculin skin test (TST) and IGRAs; as well as ensuring that the right treatment regimen is given at the right time to prevent disease progression.

Secondary Prevention


Tuberculin Skin Test
  • Evaluation of children who are having close contact with a confirmed case of TB.
  • TST is the test of choice for screening for TB infection.

Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs)

  • IGRA can be used in place of (but not in addition to) TST in screening for M. tuberculosis infection in the following conditions:[1]
  • A patient has received BCG vaccination
  • Groups with poor follow up return for TST reading

Early Diagnosis

  • Early diagnosis of tuberculosis disease is essential to give the right treatment at the appropriate time and prevent complications.
  • All patients should be routinely asked about:[3]
  • Patients with the following characteristics should be tested for tuberculosis:[3]

Prompt Treatment


  1. "CDC Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs) - Blood Tests for TB Infection".
  2. Hong-Van Tieu, Piyarat Suntarattiwong, Thanyawee Puthanakit, Tawee Chotpitayasunondh, Kulkanya Chokephaibulkit, Sunee Sirivichayakul, Supranee Buranapraditkun, Patcharawee Rungrojrat, Nitiya Chomchey, Simon Tsiouris, Scott Hammer, Vijay Nandi & Jintanat Ananworanich (2014). "Comparing interferon-gamma release assays to tuberculin skin test in thai children with tuberculosis exposure". PloS one. 9 (8): e105003. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105003. PMID 25121513.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "CDC Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, 2005".

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