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Anti-TNF-α Therapy and Tuberculosis: Theoretical and Practical Considerations

Kapil Bhargava, MRCP

Anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (anti-TNF-α) therapy is now an established, evidence-based rung of the therapeutic ladder in psoriasis and has increasing “off-label” utility in dermatological practice. Its increasing utilization within dermatology, and across multiple branches of medicine, has highlighted the associated infectious complications, in particular the risk of tuberculosis (TB) infection. Consequently, it is important for practicing dermatologists to have an appreciation of systemic TB infection where previously it may have remained outside the scope of this specialty. This review provides an overview of the risks of TB infection with anti-TNF-α agents, as well as the strategies and tools available to assess and manage them.

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