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Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC)

Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC) Logo

TBESC II - Striving to Prevent, Control, and Eliminate Tuberculosis

TBESC II focuses its research on latent TB infection. Latent TB infection is the condition when a person is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), but has not yet developed TB disease, has no symptoms, and cannot pass the bacteria to others.

Why Focus on Latent TB Infection?

In recent years, the U.S. has recorded the lowest TB rates in history. One factor that has contributed to this decline is a strong scientific approach to TB control. To accelerate the decline and achieve the goal of TB elimination, research is needed for improved diagnostic tools, treatments, and approaches.

  • Preventing TB disease by detecting and treating those with latent TB infection is a cornerstone of the U.S. strategy for TB elimination.
  • It is estimated that more than 11 million people in the U. S. have latent TB infection; however, most of these people are unaware of their infection.
  • If not treated, about 5 to 10 percent of people with latent TB infection will develop TB disease. This equates to approximately 550,000 to 1.1 million people in the U.S.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of latent TB infection can be difficult with existing diagnostic tools and treatment regimens.

Study Sites

  • California Department of Public Health
  • Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Colorado
  • Duke University, North Carolina
  • Emory University, Georgia
  • Hawaii Department of Health
  • Public Health-Seattle and King County, Washington
  • Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Arizona
  • Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • University of Florida
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center

Primary Study of TBESC II

The primary study of TBESC II:

  • Evaluates tests used to detect latent TB infection. These tests include the tuberculin skin test (TST) and the interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs): QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT), and T-SPOT®.TB test (T-Spot).
  • Compares the ability of the TST and IGRAs to predict progression from latent TB infection to TB disease. This study is one of the largest of its kind. Approximately 6,000 patients will be enrolled each year for a total enrollment of about 42,000 patients over a 7 year period.

TBESC II will also evaluate:

  • Strategies to ensure latent TB infection treatment acceptance and completion.
  • Shorter, safer, and cost-effective latent TB infection treatment regimens.

A State-of-the-Art Data Management System

TBESC II is supported by a Web-based data management system. The system operates on one platform with modules to oversee patient enrollment, case management, clinical documentation, appointment scheduling, reporting, invoicing, and security/access.

For further information, contact TBESC at