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Unlike active tuberculosis (TB), latent TB infection (LTBI) is not a public health risk and is not statutorily notifiable. LTBI treatment records are held locally and because there is no nationally available data, it is not possible to state how many people were treated for latent TB in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years.
A systematic latent TB testing and treatment programme for a defined group of individuals is one of the ten key ‘areas for action’ in the Collaborative Tuberculosis Strategy for England 2015 to 2020, and is currently being rolled out. A monitoring and evaluation system for this new programme is being established which aims to collate national data on LTBI and early data has been published in this year’s Tuberculosis in England: 2016 report. The first figures available for the LTBI programme recorded 256 individuals starting latent TB treatment for the time period of April 2015 to July 2016, although this is likely to be an underestimate. Copies of the Tuberculosis in England report and Collaborative Tuberculosis strategy are attached.