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TB Notes 3, 2006
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TB Notes Newsletter

No. 3, 2006


Sessions at 2006 NTCA Workshop Focus on Laboratory Issues

The 2006 National TB Controllers (NTCA) Workshop themed Eliminating TB: Fighting the Enemy, was held in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 13-15. There were numerous breakout sessions each day to enhance discussions, as well as to share program and laboratory experiences and successes. This included two sessions aimed at enhancing the integration of laboratory services and diagnostics into TB programs.

The first laboratory breakout session, entitled Integrating Laboratory Services into Your Program and held on June 13, was led by John Bernardo, MD (NTCA), Anthony Tran, MPH, MT(ASCP) (APHL), and David Warshauer, PhD (WI). Since accessing appropriate laboratory services is becoming more important in the management of patients with TB infection and disease, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) published The Future of TB Laboratory Services in 2004. This report outlined a series of benchmarks that were recommended by a multidisciplinary task force to integrate laboratory services into a systems approach to TB control. Performing ongoing assessments of these laboratory services and costs, with feedback to programs and providers, is one such method to approach this systems integration. The group used the publication, Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Assessing your Laboratory, currently undergoing revision, as its focus of discussion (

The second laboratory breakout session, entitled Laboratory Issues and held on June 14, was led by Dr. Bernardo and by Ed Desmond, PhD (CA). The new laboratory technologies that are changing the way we manage our patients with M. tuberculosis infection and TB disease, coupled with the recent arrival of groups resettled to the United States with high rates of multidrug-resistant disease, have raised concerns among programs and have overstretched already limited resources. Current and potential applications of these technologies for screening and managing high-risk patients, domestically and overseas, were discussed. Topics of discussion included issues such as specific techniques for the screening of high-risk persons; communication of information between laboratories, providers, and public health officials; research needs; and assessing costs of such services.

—Submitted by Anthony Tran, MPH, MT(ASCP)
Association of Public Health Laboratories
On behalf of the APHL TB Steering Committee


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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