A new screening process for tuberculosis (TB) infections in Canadian prisons could mean that more than 50 per cent of those screened won’t undergo unnecessary treatment due to false positives.
According to research by Wendy Wobeser and medical resident Ilan Schwartz, a test for TB using interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA) will detect a pre-existing TB infection, or latent TB, that might not present itself for many years, or until the body becomes weakened by another source.
“It’s fairly uncommon that latent TB will reactivate – only about a 10 per cent chance,” says Dr. Wobeser, the study’s lead author and an infectious diseases expert at Queen’s. “That said, given the crowding in corrections facilities, the mass exposure of inmates to TB could be disastrous.”
The Latest on: Tuberculosis
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The Latest on: Tuberculosis
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