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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 a variety of diseases and has increasing “off-label” utility. Its utilization within multiple branches of medicine, such as dermatology and rheumatology, has highlighted the associated infectious complications, in particular the risk of tuberculosis (TB) infection. Consequently, it is important for clinicians prescribing anti-TNF-α agents to have an appreciation of systemic TB infection. 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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