Institute for Global Health



Research to Improve Detection and Treatment of Latent TB Infection

Project Summary 

Following declines in the incidence of TB during the 20th century, there was a resurgence of the disease in England from the late 1980s to 2005.  Consequently, NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) launched a strategy in 2015 to bring about a sustained decline with screening for LTBI as a funded element of the plan.

LTBI testing and treatment reduces TB incidence by preventing reactivation and is expected to create a cost saving to the NHS after about five years (NHS England).  However, high rates of testing, treatment uptake and treatment completion are essential prerequisites to accrue these benefits.

In this 5-year programme of research, we have designed studies to improve access to diagnosis and enhance treatment uptake and completion in individuals with or at risk of LTBI.

Through four interrelated work packages (WP) conducted in parallel, we combine a behavioural science theory-based approach together with clinical trials, health economics and modelling to assess our interventions and meet our objectives.

Studies are conducted in high-volume primary and secondary care settings in England.

We aim to:

  • identify the factors influencing uptake of latent TB infection (LTBI) testing and completion of treatment among at-risk populations in the UK
  • develop materials to communicate and support LTBI testing and treatment interventions
  • evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a new Mycobacterium tuberculosis RD1-specific C-Tb skin test compared to interferon-gamma release-assay (IGRA), and
  • assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a 12-dose rifapentine-based regimen with and without adherence support compared to current standard of care.

Links to other research

Other research in the UCL Centre for Molecular Epidemiology and Translational Research

Other research in the IGH on Cost-effectivenessEpidemiology, Infectious Diseases, Population Health and TB

Other research in the IGH in the UK