Tuberculosis Screening, Testing, and Treatment of U.S. Health Care Personnel

Recommendations From the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association and CDC, 2019

Lynn E. Sosa, MD; Gibril J. Njie, MPH; Mark N. Lobato, MD; Sapna Bamrah Morris, MD; William Buchta, MD; Megan L. Casey, MPH; Neela D. Goswami, MD; MaryAnn Gruden, MSN; Bobbi Jo Hurst; Amera R. Khan, MPH; David T. Kuhar, MD; David M. Lewinsohn, MD, PhD; Trini A. Mathew, MD; Gerald H. Mazurek, MD; Randall Reves, MD; Lisa Paulos, MPH; Wendy Thanassi, MD; Lorna Will, MA; Robert Belknap, MD


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2019;68(19):439-443. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The 2005 CDC guidelines for preventing Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission in health care settings include recommendations for baseline tuberculosis (TB) screening of all U.S. health care personnel and annual testing for health care personnel working in medium-risk settings or settings with potential for ongoing transmission.[1] Using evidence from a systematic review conducted by a National Tuberculosis Controllers Association (NTCA)-CDC work group, and following methods adapted from the Guide to Community Preventive Services,[2,3] the 2005 CDC recommendations for testing U.S. health care personnel have been updated and now include 1) TB screening with an individual risk assessment and symptom evaluation at baseline (preplacement); 2) TB testing with an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) or a tuberculin skin test (TST) for persons without documented prior TB disease or latent TB infection (LTBI); 3) no routine serial TB testing at any interval after baseline in the absence of a known exposure or ongoing transmission; 4) encouragement of treatment for all health care personnel with untreated LTBI, unless treatment is contraindicated; 5) annual symptom screening for health care personnel with untreated LTBI; and 6) annual TB education of all health care personnel.