Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tuberculosis infection may be underestimated among people taking corticosteroid pills

Date:
June 26, 2014
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
Tuberculosis infection among people taking corticosteroid pills may be underestimated, new research suggests. Current guidelines for what constitutes a positive TB skin test among corticosteroid pill users may not be capturing all those who are infected, says one respirologist, who adds that although taking corticosteroid pills was a risk factor for turning latent TB into active TB, those patients were screened less often for TB than others. They were also less likely to be prescribed TB-fighting drugs prophylactically.

Tuberculosis infection among people taking corticosteroid pills may be underestimated, new research suggests. Current guidelines for what constitutes a positive TB skin test among corticosteroid pill users may not be capturing all those who are infected, said Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, a respirologist in the Tuberculosis Program at St. Michael's Hospital.

Previous research has shown that people who take corticosteroid pills, such as Prednisone, and have inhaled the TB bacteria, have an eight times higher risk of the bacteria becoming active than people who are not taking the drugs.

Dr. Vozoris said that would suggest they should be screened more often for TB infection.

However, an examination of more than 7,300 people in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found this was not the case. The survey, a series of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States, is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations.

The findings were published today in the European Respiratory Journal.

He found that although taking corticosteroid pills was a risk factor for turning latent TB into active TB, those patients were screened less often for TB than others. They were also less likely to be prescribed TB-fighting drugs prophylactically.

Dr. Vozoris said that for the general population, producing a bump at least 10 millimetres in diameter following a TB skin test likely means that one has inhaled the TB bacteria. Current guidelines recommend that the bump be only five millimetres long if the patient is taking corticosteroid pills, but Dr. Vozoris said there is no evidence to support that is the correct cut-off. The study results show that 3.5-mm might be a more appropriate cut-off.

Corticosteroid pills are commonly prescribed for people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory arthritis and cancer. They work by decreasing inflammation, but they also suppress the immune system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. The original article was written by Leslie Shepherd. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicholas T. Vozoris, Julie Seemangal, and Jane Batt. Prevalence, screening and treatment of latent tuberculosis among oral corticosteroid recipients. European Respiratory Journal, June 2014 DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00076714

Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Tuberculosis infection may be underestimated among people taking corticosteroid pills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140626101702.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2014, June 26). Tuberculosis infection may be underestimated among people taking corticosteroid pills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140626101702.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Tuberculosis infection may be underestimated among people taking corticosteroid pills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140626101702.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins