Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
A-Survey-of-Latent-Tuberculosis-Screening-and-Treatment-Practices-in-a-Tertiary-Centre.pdf (271.57 kB)

A survey of latent tuberculosis screening and treatment practices in a tertiary centre

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-10-24, 13:22 authored by James O'Connell, Eoghan De BarraEoghan De Barra, Cora McNallyCora McNally, Samuel McConkeySamuel McConkey


Knowledge of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) screening and treatment practices are lacking in Ireland, where LTBI is not programmatically surveyed or managed. The aim of this research was to describe current clinical practice when screening and treating patients for LTBI in a tertiary referral centre in Ireland. 


A 17-question survey relating to LTBI screening and management practices with both open-ended questions and close ended multiple-choice questions was created using SurveyMonkey. The survey target sample was healthcare workers in the tertiary centre who direct LTBI screening and treatment for patients at risk of TB disease in their respective departments. 


The response rate to the survey was 45% (21/47). Seventy-one percent (15/21) of those surveyed responded to the question “What barriers exist to screening patients for latent TB in your clinical practice?”. Fifty-three percent (8/15) said that they found it difficult to access LTBI testing and 27% (4/15) cited accessing the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) result as a barrier. Forty-three percent (9/21) responded that there was not a clear referral pathway for patients that they would like specialist input on when diagnosing and managing patients with LTBI. 


Access to LTBI testing, LTBI test results, TB specialist services and the use of rifamycin-based regimens should be improved in this tertiary centre. Consideration should be given to developing a national LTBI education programme for healthcare professionals and updating national LTBI treatment guidelines.



The original article is available at

Published Citation

O’Connell J, de Barra E, McNally C, McConkey S. A survey of latent tuberculosis screening and treatment practices in a tertiary centre. Ir Med J. 2021;114(7):406

Publication Date

July/August 2021


  • Beaumont Hospital
  • International Health and Tropical Medicine


Irish Medical Association


  • Published Version (Version of Record)