ECDC guidance on the management of latent tuberculosis infection in EU/EEA countries

23 October 2018

Article: 52/4207

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published guidance on the management of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). The guidance is designed primarily for use in European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries.

In October 2018, all United Nations (UN) member states pledged urgent action to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030 (see current note 52/3904). Even in low-incidence TB regions such as Europe, this commitment will entail changes to improve TB management and prevention, especially concerning LTBI.

According to a recent study in PLOS Medicine, an estimated 1.7 billion people have LTBI, meaning that approximately a quarter of the world’s population have this ‘dormant’ form of tuberculosis. LTBI carriers are asymptomatic and not infectious, but the bacilli can spread at a later stage and result in TB. In low-incidence countries, a majority of TB cases occur due to the progression of LTBI to active TB disease. To fulfil the mandate of ending TB by 2030, thorough screening and treatment for LTBI needs to be implemented.

ECDC has created several guidance documents on screening strategies and management of LTBI. They are available on the ECDC website

Source: ECDC, 16 October 2018