Prevention of Tuberculosis Reactivation


Project Status:
Project Line:
Health Technology Review
Project Sub Line:
Rapid Review
Project Number:


  1. What is the clinical utility of screening for latent tuberculosis infection in people at risk of tuberculosis reactivation?
  2. What is the clinical effectiveness of treating latent tuberculosis infection to prevent tuberculosis reactivation?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines for the prevention of tuberculosis reactivation?

Key Message

  • It is not known if screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is useful for reducing the risk of tuberculosis reactivation among people at risk (no evidence was found).
  • In people with LTBI, providing treatment for the latent infection may be helpful for preventing the development of active tuberculosis disease. (In addition, LTBI treatments do not appear to increase the risk for hepatotoxicity.) Treatment effectiveness may depend on the specific LTBI treatment regimen used.
  • For people at an increased risk for tuberculosis ― including those from areas with high rates of tuberculosis ― guidelines recommend screening and treatment for LTBI, as this may help prevent TB reactivation. Treatment is recommended for those who are 65 years old or younger and with a positive LTBI result (recommendation from 1 high-quality guideline).