Tuberculosis: 2014 Update
Dr. Roy Chemaly, Professor of medicine and Director of the Infection Control Section at MD. Anderson Hospital, provided an overview of the epidemiological trends in newly diagnosed cases of Tuberculosis, pointing out that one-third of the world’s population is thought to be latently infected with M. TB. He identified high risk populations in the US including, foreign-born individuals and environments where people live in close proximity to one another (e.g. prisons, homeless, etc.) The TB rate among foreign-born individuals is 13 times higher than that of US-born, and the states accounting for half of all reported cases are California, Texas, New York, and Florida – states with high immigrant populations. Dr. Chemaly discussed the two methods for detecting M. TB being used currently in the US –skin testing and interferon-gamma release assays such as quantiferon gold and the TSpot procedures. He explained the higher specificity and sensitivity of the TSpot procedure compared with the other two assessment methods.