Latent tuberculosis infection : a guide for primary health care providers
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    Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. It is estimated that up to 13 million people in the United States (U.S.) have LTBI. People with LTBI are infected with M. tuberculosis, but they do not have TB disease. People with LTBI do not have signs and symptoms of TB disease, and they cannot spread M. tuberculosis to others. While not everyone with LTBI will develop TB disease, about 5–10% of infected people will develop TB disease over their lifetimes if not treated for LTBI.

    Progression from untreated LTBI to TB disease accounts for approximately 80% of U.S. TB cases. Identifying and treating people with LTBI is essential for controlling and eliminating TB disease in the U.S. LTBI treatment is effective for preventing TB disease. Primary care providers play a key role in achieving the goal of TB elimination because of their access to populations at high risk for TB.

    This guide is intended for primary care providers who care for individuals and populations who may be at risk for infection with M. tuberculosis. This document is not meant to be used as a substitute for CDC guidelines, but rather as a ready and useful reference.


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