Table 1 Rationale for the four key components of the ESTC; adapted from [17]
DiagnosisThe ESTC are based on TB suspects identified not only through sputum smear microscopy, but adapted to the EU/EEA setting including culture, DST (drug susceptibility testing) and rapid testing including rapid identification for rifampicin resistance. This is consistent with the culture-based definition used in the EU/EEA.
TreatmentGiven the availability of rapid diagnostic for TB and rifampicin resistance, the need to start MDR treatment from the beginning, under high-quality management conditions. To ensure quality treatment monitoring based on culture.
HIV/TB and co-morbiditiesUniversal access to anti-retroviral treatment is available to all HIV infected as well as the capacity to detect all cases. This impacts on the management of provision of isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT). Not only HIV infected but also individuals with a range of immunosuppressive conditions (such as TNF-α antagonist, corticosteroid, cancer treatment, diabetes, intravenous drug use and alcohol abuse) should be evaluated for IPT and proper follow-up for TB.
Public health and preventionIn absence of vertical TB programmes and with the full integration of services, healthcare providers are assuming an important responsibility for ensuring key public health and infection control functions related to detection and prevention of TB.