Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection in Taiwan: the Present and Future
Pei-Chun Chan1、Ya-Fen Tsai1、Chi-Fang Feng1、Ping-Hui Lee1、Kwei-Feng Wang1、Chin-Hui Yang2
2013 Vol.29 NO.5
Correspondence Author： Pei-Chun Chan
The latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) refers to the latent period in which the contact has been infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis after exposure but has not yet experienced symptom onset. In Taiwan, the priority groups for LTBI treatment were populations with high risks of LTBI and low risks for developing drug-induced adverse reactions. The national tuberculosis (TB) program for treatment of LTBI among contacts aged younger than 13 years was launched on April 1, 2008. The key to the promotion of treatment is the coordination between the public health and medical systems, and the achievement of treatment depends on the support of the directly observed preventive treatment (DOPT) strategy. The partnership between the public health and medical systems confirmed, promoted, and provided a basis for cooperation. The subsequent treatments were conducted under the strategies of DOPT and copayment subsidized by the government, alongside with the TB case management system. Since April 2012, the TB contacts who (1) age 13 years or older and were born after January 1, 1986, (2) have been exposed to smear-positive and culture-positive TB index cases, and (3) have lived with the index case or had close contact with the index case in the same school or populous institution have been included for LTBI screening. To eradicate TB, we discuss the current management policy for LTBI in the end of the article. There remain many challenges to be faced and dealt with.