Facts about Tuberculosis (TB)
- An airborne, highly contagious, infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- In Malaysia, 26,168 new TB cases were reported in 2017 (2).
What is latent TB infection (LTBI)?
- LTBI refers to a person’s exposure to the M. tuberculosis bacterium but they do not show any signs or symptoms of TB disease.
- It is not contagious, and people can carry it for a very long period until it converts into an active, contagious form of the disease.
- Treatment of LTBI can prevent conversion into an active form.
Treating LTBI prevents active TB
- Identification and treatment of LTBI can substantially reduce the risk of development of active disease by as much as 60% (3).
Get yourself checked
Contact investigation may involve:
- Clinical assessment
- Chest radiography
- Tuberculin skin test (TST)
- Interferon-γ release assay (IGRA).
The modern IGRA blood test –> QuantiFERON®-TB Gold Plus (QFT®-Plus)
- Easy to administer
- Provides accurate and quick results.
- Approved by the World’s Health Organization Model list of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics (1).
- World Health Organization. (2018) World Health Organization Model List of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics.
- Global Tuberculosis Report 2018 http://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/
- Kim, H. W., & Kim, J. S. (2018). Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection and Its Clinical Efficacy. Tuberculosis and respiratory diseases, 81(1), 6-12. doi:10.4046/trd.2017.0052