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Am J Epidemiol. 2018 Sep 1;187(9):2011-2020. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwy094.

Prospects for Tuberculosis Elimination in the United States: Results of a Transmission Dynamic Model.

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Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
Center for Health Decision Science, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.
Division of TB Elimination, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Department of Health Policy & Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.
Center for Health Policy and Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California.


We estimated long-term tuberculosis (TB) trends in the US population and assessed prospects for TB elimination. We used a detailed simulation model allowing for changes in TB transmission, immigration, and other TB risk determinants. Five hypothetical scenarios were evaluated from 2017 to 2100: 1) maintain current TB prevention and treatment activities (base case); 2) provision of latent TB infection testing and treatment for new legal immigrants; 3) increased uptake of latent TB infection screening and treatment among high-risk populations, including a 3-month isoniazid-rifapentine regimen; 4) improved TB case detection; and 5) improved TB treatment quality. Under the base case, we estimate that by 2050, TB incidence will decline to 14 cases per million, a 52% (95% posterior interval (PI): 35, 67) reduction from 2016, and 82% (95% posterior interval: 78, 86) of incident TB will be among persons born outside of the United States. Intensified TB control could reduce incidence by 77% (95% posterior interval: 66, 85) by 2050. We predict TB may be eliminated in US-born but not non-US-born persons by 2100. Results were sensitive to numbers of people entering the United States with latent or active TB, and were robust to alternative interpretations of epidemiologic evidence. TB elimination in the United States remains a distant goal; however, strengthening TB prevention and treatment could produce important health benefits.

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