Latent tuberculosis infection: An overview

Can Commun Dis Rep. 2017 Mar 2;43(3-4):62-66. doi: 10.14745/ccdr.v43i34a01.


Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is defined as a state of persistent immune response to stimulation by Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens without evidence of clinically manifested active tuberculosis (TB) disease. Individuals with LTBI represent a reservoir for active TB cases. The detection and management of LTBI is now a key component of the World Health Organization's End TB Strategy and the Government of Canada's federal framework for action on TB prevention and control. This is because people with LTBI can progress to active TB or undergo reactivation, a risk that is greatly increased in those with immunocompromising conditions. This overview provides a summary of LTBI and reactivation risk, as well as the recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of LTBI.