TB elimination by 2030 (5 years ahead in india i.e. by 2025): tackling Latent TB as well

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Dear Editor

Latent Tuberculosis is a huge Reservoir in the world (approx. 30% of the world population) and latent TB is found to be highly prevalent in India (approx. 40% of the Indian population). In these cases, the Pathognomoic Feature, is “The GHONS FOCUS” (which is a central area of Caseous Necrosis, surrounded by Giant Cells, Monocytes and lymphocytes) in the lung that can either resolve if immunity is good or progress into active disease if immunity is poor or stay as such through out life. To tackle latent tuberculosis infection one requires the identification and treatment of asymptomatic individuals to reduce the risk of progression to active disease.

Diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection is based on the detection of an immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens using either the tuberculin skin test (TST) or interferon-γ release assays (IGRA). BCG vaccination gives false positives with TST and IGRA is expensive in a country like India. Current treatment requires the use of antibiotics for at least 3 months. And there is no way we can detect the cure of latent TB.

Due to the above mentioned reasons, tackling latent TB is huge burden on resources, so we can raise the Immunity of subjects by implementing a massive nutrition campaign for the General Public and subsidized or free, ready to eat, nutritive foods such as Jaggery and Bengal gram among high risk target groups like close contacts of active pulmonary disease subjects, people living with HIV, health care Workers and children in Endemic countries, Immunosuppressed people. Viz. Diabetics, Patients on Chemotherapy, Patients with Transplants and those on Corticosteroids.

Lately, according to a news clipping:The National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP, India) has included Serum-Mylab’s indigenously developed latent test to detect tuberculosis to further its effort to eliminate the infectious disease by 2025.

This novel test called Cy-TB can detect the presence of latent infection before it progresses to an active disease state. To achieve the TB elimination target by 2025, testing and treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI) is essential, an official statement has said.

The inclusion of Serum-Mylab’s Cy-TB in the NTEP and its availability on the Ni-kshay platform marks a substantial leap forward in the country’s TB control efforts.

The Serum-Mylab Cy-TB Test, a fast and accurate diagnostic tool, represents a significant advancement in latent TB diagnosis. It combines the cost-effectiveness and simplicity of a skin test with the accuracy of the traditional high-cost lab-based test called interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) [1].

1. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/india-first-skin-test-late…

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Electronic Publication Date: 
Tuesday, November 21, 2023 – 08:20
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TB elimination by 2030 (5 years ahead in india i.e. by 2025): tackling Latent TB as well

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Indian Council of Mwdical Research, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110029
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Neeru Gupta, Akshun Jani, Neeta Kumar, KK Jani
Delhi Heart and Lung Institute
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