Target groups for preventive treatment

A 6-month course of preventive treatment with daily isoniazid (5 mg/kg) is effective in preventing progression of M. tuberculosis infection to disease. However, preventive treatment for all individuals infected with M. tuberculosis is not a recommended TB control strategy. It is not feasible to try to identify all individuals infected with M. tuberculosis.TB disease develops in only 10% of these individuals. So it is not cost-effective to identify and treat all infected individuals in order to prevent disease in 10%. However, it is possible to identify certain groups at high risk of progressing from M. tuberculosis infection to TB disease. It may be cost-effective to target preventive treatment at these high-risk groups. Young children are at special risk, especially if they are HIV-infected. HIV infection, in children and in adults, is a potent cause of progression of M. tuberculosis infection to TB disease (see Chapter 1).

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