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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) disease by finding and treating cases of TB disease and expanding latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) testing and treatment to prevent TB disease. Approximately 70% of reported TB cases in the United States occur among non-U.S.-born persons. We conducted 15 focus groups with U.S. residents born in the six most common countries of birth among non-U.S.-born TB patients: Mexico, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, China and Guatemala. Participants reacted to 39 messages on LTBI and TB disease risk factors, the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, and LTBI testing and treatment. There was low awareness of LTBI, the TB blood test, and how the TB blood test is not affected by prior BCG vaccination. Several participants thought TB disease is contracted by sharing kitchenware. Some felt negatively targeted when presented with information about countries where TB disease is more common than the U.S. Findings highlight the need for communication aimed at increasing LTBI testing and treatment to include messages framed in ways that will be resonant and actionable to populations at risk. Focus groups revealed LTBI misconceptions which highlight areas for targeted education to decrease TB stigma and increase LTBI testing and treatment.


John Parmer, Everly Macario, Katharine Tatum, Alejandra Brackett, Leeanna Allen, Rachael Picard, Nick DeLuca, Molly Dowling. Latent tuberculosis infection: Misperceptions among non-U.S.-born-populations from countries where tuberculosis is common. Global public health. 2022 Aug;17(8):1728-1742

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PMID: 34228584

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