Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

SCOTLAND: Blood Test Hope in Battle Against Soaring TB Levels




 

HeraldScotland (12.12.12)

Researchers at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital are currently evaluating the effectiveness of two new blood tests for TB to determine if the tests should be used in screening for latent TB infections in Scotland. Germany, France, and Ireland have successfully used one of the blood tests, QuantiFERON-TB Gold, to drive down the number of new cases of TB. TB incidence has increased in Scotland by 25 percent over the last 10 years. Health Protection Scotland reported 455 new cases in 2011. New TB cases occur primarily among immigrants from areas like India, Pakistan, and African countries, where there is a high prevalence of TB. Most of the immigrants who develop TB reach Scotland with latent infections that cannot be detected by the chest X-rays administered upon arrival. Sarah Whitehead, laboratory lead for TB in Glasgow, stated that about 10 percent of latent TB infections develop into active TB. For the last 100 years, the only method for detecting latent TB was a skin test that required monitoring to determine a positive response. The skin test has not been used routinely in the United Kingdom. Based on the outcomes of the blood test evaluations, Glasgow public health agencies are considering a pilot study in which general practitioners invite immigrants with high risk of TB to participate in blood test screenings at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Whitehead stated that the UK TB Task Force believes the increase in TB among immigrant populations does not constitute a public health threat to the native population of Scotland.



 


Copyright © 2012 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.



Information in this article was accurate in December 13, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.