Tuberculosis (too ber cu LOW sis), or TB, is the common name for a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Persons with latent TB infection (LTBI) do not feel sick. They do not have any symptoms but can potentially develop active TB disease. Also, persons with LTBI are not contagious. This means that they cannot spread TB to others. The main ways to diagnose LTBI are by placing a tuberculin skin test (TST) on the forearm or by getting a TB blood test, in addition to obtaining a chest radiograph (x-ray) if either one of these tests is positive.
One-third of the world’s population has LTBI. The TB germs are dormant (asleep) in the body. Most people with LTBI can fight the germs to keep them from growing. This depends on the person’s immune system. LTBI can be treated to prevent active TB disease. See Helping Hand HH-I-209, Active Tuberculosis (TB) Disease.
Close contact with the following people increases a person’s risk of getting LTBI.
Some people are more likely than others to develop TB disease (active TB), including people who have compromised immune systems, people with certain medical conditions, the very young (less than one year of age), and the elderly.
People with LTBI are healthy and do not feel sick.
Certain tests are used to diagnose TB infection, including the following:
Symptoms and chest x-ray results are negative (normal) for people with LTBI.
The usual treatment for LTBI is taking an antibiotic called isoniazid (INH), once daily for nine months. Your child will have an appointment in the TB clinic once each month so that we can monitor the child’s weight and adjust the dose of the medicine as needed.
Another option for children 2 years old and older includes once weekly therapy in the TB Clinic with isoniazid and rifapentine for a total of 12 weeks. We will discuss these options with you to determine the most appropriate therapy for your child and family. Whichever medicine your child takes, we will monitor your child with you to make sure that he or she is tolerating therapy.
It is very important for your child to take this medicine and to keep appointments as directed.
It is expected that rifamycins (rifampin, rifapentine, and others) will make urine, stool, and other body fluids (such as tears and saliva) turn orange. This orange color will go away at the end of therapy. During therapy, contact lenses may become permanently stained.
Watch for and report any adverse effects of the medicines. These include:
If you have any questions, please call:
Nationwide Children’s Hospital TB Clinic at (614) 722-4452, Mon-Fri, 8 AM – 4:30 PM. For all other times, call (614) 722-2000, then ask to page the ID doctor on call.
HH-I-354 7/16 Copyright 2016, Nationwide Children’s Hospital