Tuberculosis screening in an aged care residential facility in a low-incidence setting

Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2017 Sep 1;41(3):E209-E211.


Tuberculosis (TB) remains a disease of high morbidity in Australia, with implications for both public health and the individual. Cost analyses is relevant for programmatic evaluation of TB. There is minimal published TB cost data in the Australian setting. Patients with drug sensitive active pulmonary TB (DS-PTB) and latent TB (LTBI) were enrolled in a single tertiary referral centre to evaluate healthcare provider costs. The median cost of treating drug susceptible pulmonary TB in this case series was 11,538 AUD. Approximately 50% of total costs is derived from inpatient hospitalisation bed days. In comparison, the average cost of managing latent TB was 582 AUD per completed course. We find the median provider cost of our DS-PTB treatment group comparable to costs from other regions globally with similar economic profiles. A program designed to detect and treat LTBI to prevent subsequent disease may be cost effective in appropriately selected patients and warrants further study.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Housing for the Elderly
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient*
  • Interferon-gamma Release Tests
  • Latent Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Latent Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Latent Tuberculosis / transmission
  • Male
  • Mass Chest X-Ray
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Residential Facilities
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / transmission
  • Victoria / epidemiology