Undiagnosed tuberculosis in a community with high HIV prevalence: implications for tuberculosis control.

Wood, R; Middelkoop, K; Myer, L; Grant, AD; Whitelaw, A; Lawn, SD; Kaplan, G; Huebner, R; McIntyre, J; Bekker, LG; (2006) Undiagnosed tuberculosis in a community with high HIV prevalence: implications for tuberculosis control. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 175 (1). pp. 87-93. ISSN 1073-449X DOI: https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.200606-759OC

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BACKGROUND: Although failure of tuberculosis (TB) control in sub-Saharan Africa is attributed to the HIV epidemic, it is unclear why the directly observed therapy short-course (DOTS) strategy is insufficient in this setting. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of pulmonary TB (PTB) and HIV infection in a community of 13,000 with high HIV prevalence and high TB notification rate and a well-functioning DOTS TB control program. METHODS: Active case finding for PTB was performed in 762 adults using sputum microscopy and Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture, testing for HIV, and a symptom and risk factor questionnaire. Survey findings were correlated with notification data extracted from the TB treatment register. RESULTS: Of those surveyed, 174 (23%) tested HIV positive, 11 (7 HIV positive) were receiving TB therapy, 6 (5 HIV positive) had previously undiagnosed smear-positive PTB, and 6 (4 HIV positive) had smear-negative/culture-positive PTB. Symptoms were not a useful screen for PTB. Among HIV-positive and -negative individuals, prevalence of notified smear-positive PTB was 1,563/100,000 and 352/100,000, undiagnosed smear-positive PTB prevalence was 2,837/100,000 and 175/100,000, and case-finding proportions were 37 and 67%, respectively. Estimated duration of infectiousness was similar for HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals. However, 87% of total person-years of undiagnosed smear-positive TB in the community were among HIV-infected individuals. CONCLUSIONS: PTB was identified in 9% of HIV-infected individuals, with 5% being previously undiagnosed. Lack of symptoms suggestive of PTB may contribute to low case-finding rates. DOTS strategy based on passive case finding should be supplemented by active case finding targeting HIV-infected individuals.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: TB Centre
PubMed ID: 16973982
Web of Science ID: 243289800017
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/10156


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