Use of Transnational Services to prevent treatment interruption in TB-infected persons who leave the United States

Type of Publication: 
Peer reviewed paper
Author: 
Tschampl et al.
Year of Publication: 
2016

A major problem resulting from interrupted tuberculosis (TB) treatment is the development of drug-resistant TB, including multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB), a more deadly and costlyto-treat form of the disease. Global health systems are not equipped to diagnose and treat the current burden of MDR TB.

TB-infected foreign visitors and temporary US residents who leave the country during treatment can experience treatment interruption and, thus, are at greater risk for drug-resistant TB.

Using epidemiologic and demographic data, we estimated TB incidence among this group, as well as the proportion of patients referred to transnational care–continuity and management services during relocation; each year, 2,827 visitors and temporary residents are at risk for TB treatment interruption, 222 (8%) of whom are referred for transnational services.

Scale up of transnational services for persons at high risk for treatment interruption is possible and encouraged because of potential health gains and reductions in healthcare costs for the United States and receiving countries.