CE: Tuberculosis A New Screening Recommendation and an Expanded Approach to Elimination in the United States

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Nurses play a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis and in the prevention of tuberculosis transmission through infection control practices. To eliminate tuberculosis in the United States, however, an expanded approach to testing and treating people with latent tuberculosis infection must be implemented. Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a new recommendation statement on latent tuberculosis infection testing that expands nurses’ opportunities to identify at-risk populations for tuberculosis prevention. In combination with newer testing methodologies and shorter treatment regimens, implementation of the USPSTF recommendation has the potential to remove previously existing barriers to screening and treatment of both patients and health care providers. This article provides a general overview of tuberculosis transmission, pathogenesis, and epidemiology; presents preventive care recommendations for targeted testing among high-risk groups; and discusses the USPSTF recommendation's applicability to public health and primary care practice in the United States.

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