The risk and prevention of tuberculosa: Screening strategies to detect latent tuberculosis among rheumatoid arthritis patients who use biologic therapy

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It has become clear in recent years that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are at an increased risk for tuberculosis, primarily due to the immunosuppressive therapies used to treat RA. Since the advent of anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy, the need to screen RA patients for latent tuberculosis infection has heightened, and rheumatologists must stay abreast of changes in diagnostic testing and screening algorithms for tuberculosis. However, these algorithms are a "moving target" as interferon-y-release assays have been recently developed and offer an alternative, or adjunct, to the tuberculin skin test. This article reviews the latest developments in screening methodologies for latent tuberculosis uifection, the strengths and weaknesses of various screening algorithms, as well as other preventive and therapeutic considerations for tuberculosis associated with RA and biological therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Advances in Rheumatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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