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USPSFT Supports Screening for Latent Tuberculosis Infection in Adults

This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a final policy that recommends screening for latent tuberculosis infections (LTBI) in asymptomatic adults at increased risk of latent TB infection. The USPSTF gave screening for latent TB in at-risk adults a “B” grade. The “B” is significant because federal law requires that all USPSTF screening services that receive a letter “A” or “B” grade must be provided to patients, at no cost.

To view the recommendation, the evidence on which it is based, and a summary for clinicians, please visit here.

The CDC, together with the ATS and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, have recommended screening for LTBI to identify persons who may benefit from treatment before progression to active tuberculosis infection.

“The USPSTF recommendation on latent TB screening in high-risk adults is welcome news,” said ATS Health Policy Committee chair Stuart Sweet, MD. “The USPSFT’s decision is backed by strong science and will significantly boost U.S. efforts to eliminate domestic TB. However, the decision is also a reminder of how court interference in the practice of medicine can undermine good policy.”

"Recently, a Texas judge ruled that all USPSTFs screening recommendations are null and void and that federal law cannot require that approved screening services be offered to patients at no cost. The Texas judge’s decision threatens to undermine access to a wide range of proven preventative services like lung cancer screening, tobacco cessation, prostate cancer screening and mammograms, to name a few. The ATS has joined an amicus brief seeking to overturn the Texas judge’s unfortunate ruling."

Last Reviewed: June 2023