Health leaders discuss latent TB infection and prevention in China

Researchers, healthcare workers and other experts in tuberculosis (TB) convened on 1 March in Beijing to discuss methods for tackling latent TB infection (LTBI) in China. Participants from China, the United States and Taiwan shared experiences and discussed methods for LTBI testing as prevention against active TB.

The World Health Organization estimates that as high as one-third of the world’s population is infected with latent TB, which causes no symptoms and is not contagious. However, approximately five to 10 percent of these dormant infections will develop into active TB, especially in people with lower immune function, such as children or people living with HIV, or healthcare workers and others in regular contact with TB patients. Testing for LTBI among these high-risk populations is an essential preventive method to reduce TB incidence.

Participants at the workshop underlined their commitment to these preventative measures and agreed to work together on an analysis of the current state of LTBI in China. Speakers at the event included Dr Wang Lixia, Director of the National Center for Tuberculosis, Dr Pennan Barry, University of California, and Dr Jann-Yuan Wang, National Taiwan University, among others.

The meeting was organised by The Union and the National Center for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention of China CDC, with support from QIAGEN.