London: Indian immigrants in UK should no longer be specifically excluded from latent TB screening but must be included for improving their health and wellbeing, a leading researcher has said.

"Instead of leaving latently infected Indians undiagnosed and untreated, our research recommends diagnosis and treatment of latent TB infection in new arrivals from the Indian subcontinent so as to prevent them from developing full-blown active TB, thereby preventing illness and suffering among new immigrants," Professor Ajit Lalvani, Director, Tuberculosis Research Unit, Department of Respiratory Medicine at the London-based Imperial College said.

Lalvani, who led a new study, said, "Our conclusions recommend improving the health and wellbeing of new immigrants from the Indian subcontinent; this important message has not been conveyed in some of the reports circulated in India."

Lalvani, Chair of Infectious Diseases said, "UK national guidance for which groups to screen has hitherto missed most immigrants with latent infection. We've shown that by changing the threshold for screening, and including immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, we could pick up 92 per cent of imported latent TB."

The study has been published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.