Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) represents a threat to health and development in countries with high TB burden. China’s MDR-TB prevalence rate of 6.8% is the highest in the world. Interventions to remove barriers against effective TB control, and prevention of MDR-TB are urgently needed in the country. This paper reports a cross-sectional questionnaire survey of 513 pulmonary TB (PTB) patients, and qualitative interviews of 10 healthcare workers (HCWs), and 15 PTB patients. The objective was to assess barriers against effective control of PTB and prevention of MDR-TB by elucidating the perspectives of patients and healthcare providers. Results showed that more than half of the patients experienced patient delay of over 12.5 days. A similar proportion also experienced detection delay of over 30 days, and delay in initiating treatment of over 31 days. Consulting a non-TB health facility ≥3 times before seeking care at TB dispensary was a risk factor for both detection delay [AOR (95% CI): 1.89(1.07, 3.34) and delay in initiating treatment[AOR (95% CI): 1.88 (1.06, 3.36). Results revealed poor implementation of Directly Observed Therapy (DOT), whereby treatment of 34.3% patients was never monitored by HCWs. Only 31.8% patients had ever accessed TB health education before their TB diagnosis. Qualitative data consistently disclosed long patient delay, and indicated that patient’s poor TB knowledge and socioeconomic barriers were primary reasons for patient delay. Seeking care and being treated at a non-TB hospital was an important reason for detection delay. Patient’s long work hours and low income increased risk for treatment non-adherence. Evidence-based measures to improve TB health seeking behavior, reduce patient and detection delays, improve the quality of DOT, address financial and system barriers, and increase access to TB health promotion are urgently needed to address the burgeoning prevalence of MDR-TB in China.
An occupationally safe (biosafe) sputum liquefaction protocol was developed for use with a semi-automated antibody-based microtip immunofluorescence sensor. The protocol effectively liquefied sputum and inactivated microorganisms including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, while preserving the antibody-binding activity of Mycobacterium cell surface antigens. Sputum was treated with a synergistic chemical-thermal protocol that included moderate concentrations of NaOH and detergent at 60°C for 5 to 10 min. Samples spiked with M. tuberculosis complex cells showed approximately 106-fold inactivation of the pathogen after treatment. Antibody binding was retained post-treatment, as determined by analysis with a microtip immunosensor. The sensor correctly distinguished between Mycobacterium species and other cell types naturally present in biosafe-treated sputum, with a detection limit of 100 CFU/mL for M. tuberculosis, in a 30-minute sample-to-result process. The microtip device was also semi-automated and shown to be compatible with low-cost, LED-powered fluorescence microscopy. The device and biosafe sputum liquefaction method opens the door to rapid detection of tuberculosis in settings with limited laboratory infrastructure.
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is resistant to both rifampicin (RIF) and isoniazid (INH). Whereas many TB diagnostics detect RIF-resistance, few detect INH-monoresistance, which is common and may increase risk of acquired MDR-TB. Whether inclusion of INH-resistance in a first-line rapid test for TB would have an important impact on MDR-TB rates remains uncertain.
We developed a transmission model to evaluate three tests in a population similar to that of India: a rapid molecular test for TB, the same test plus RIF-resistance detection (“TB+RIF”), and detection of RIF and INH-resistance (“TB+RIF/INH”). Our primary outcome was the prevalence of INH-resistant and MDR-TB at ten years.
Compared to the TB test alone and assuming treatment of all diagnosed MDR cases, the TB+RIF test reduced the prevalence of MDR-TB among all TB cases from 5.5% to 3.8% (30.6% reduction, 95% uncertainty range, UR: 17–54%). Despite using liberal assumptions about the impact of INH-monoresistance on treatment outcomes and MDR-TB acquisition, expansion from TB+RIF to TB+RIF/INH lowered this prevalence only from 3.8% to 3.6% further (4% reduction, 95% UR: 3–7%) and INH-monoresistant TB from 15.8% to 15.1% (4% reduction, 95% UR: (-8)-19%).
When added to a rapid test for TB plus RIF-resistance, detection of INH-resistance has minimal impact on transmission of TB, MDR-TB, and INH-monoresistant TB.
Existing diagnostic tests for pleural tuberculosis (TB) have inadequate accuracy and/or turnaround time. Interferon-gamma (IFNg) has been identified in many studies as a biomarker for pleural TB. Our objective was to develop a lateral flow, immunochromatographic test (ICT) based on this biomarker and to evaluate the test in a clinical cohort. Because IFNg is commonly present in non-TB pleural effusions in low amounts, a diagnostic IFNg-threshold was first defined with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IFNg in samples from 38 patients with a confirmed clinical diagnosis (cut-off of 300pg/ml; 94% sensitivity and 93% specificity). The ICT was then designed; however, its achievable limit of detection (5000pg/ml) was over 10-fold higher than that of the ELISA. After several iterations in development, the prototype ICT assay for IFNg had a sensitivity of 69% (95% confidence interval (CI): 50-83) and a specificity of 94% (95% CI: 81-99%) compared to ELISA on frozen samples. Evaluation of the prototype in a prospective clinical cohort (72 patients) on fresh pleural fluid samples, in comparison to a composite reference standard (including histopathological and microbiologic test results), showed that the prototype had 65% sensitivity (95% CI: 44-83) and 89% specificity (95% CI: 74-97). Discordant results were observed in 15% of samples if testing was repeated after one freezing and thawing step. Inter-rater variability was limited (3%; 1out of 32). In conclusion, despite an iterative development and optimization process, the performance of the IFNg ICT remained lower than what could be expected from the published literature on IFNg as a biomarker in pleural fluid. Further improvements in the limit of detection of an ICT for IFNg, and possibly combination of IFNg with other biomarkers such as adenosine deaminase, are necessary for such a test to be of value in the evaluation of pleural tuberculosis.
Development of resistance to antituberculosis drugs during treatment (i.e., acquired resistance) can lead to emergence of resistant strains and consequent poor clinical outcomes. However, it is unknown whether Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex species and lineage affects the likelihood of acquired resistance.
We analyzed data from the U.S. National Tuberculosis Surveillance System and National Tuberculosis Genotyping Service for tuberculosis cases during 2004–2011 with assigned species and lineage and both initial and final drug susceptibility test results. We determined univariate associations between species and lineage of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria and acquired resistance to isoniazid, rifamycins, fluoroquinolones, and second-line injectables. We used Poisson regression with backward elimination to generate multivariable models for acquired resistance to isoniazid and rifamycins.
M. bovis was independently associated with acquired resistance to isoniazid (adjusted prevalence ratio = 8.46, 95% CI 2.96–24.14) adjusting for HIV status, and with acquired resistance to rifamycins (adjusted prevalence ratio = 4.53, 95% CI 1.29–15.90) adjusting for homelessness, HIV status, initial resistance to isoniazid, site of disease, and administration of therapy. East Asian lineage was associated with acquired resistance to fluoroquinolones (prevalence ratio = 6.10, 95% CI 1.56–23.83).
We found an association between mycobacterial species and lineage and acquired drug resistance using U.S. surveillance data. Prospective clinical studies are needed to determine the clinical significance of these findings, including whether rapid genotyping of isolates at the outset of treatment may benefit patient management.
Default from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment remains a major barrier to cure and epidemic control. We sought to identify patient risk factors for default from MDR-TB treatment and high-risk time periods for default in relation to hospitalization and transition to outpatient care.
We retrospectively analyzed a cohort of 225 patients who initiated MDR-TB treatment between 2007 through 2010 at a rural TB hospital in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
Fifty percent of patients were cured or completed treatment, 27% defaulted, 14% died, 4% failed treatment, and 5% transferred out. Recent alcohol use was common (63% of patients). In multivariable proportional hazards regression, older age (hazard ratio [HR]= 0.97 [95% confidence interval 0.94-0.99] per year of greater age), formal housing (HR=0.38 [0.19-0.78]), and steady employment (HR=0.41 [0.19-0.90]) were associated with decreased risk of default, while recent alcohol use (HR=2.1 [1.1-4.0]), recent drug use (HR=2.0 [1.0-3.6]), and Coloured (mixed ancestry) ethnicity (HR=2.3 [1.1-5.0]) were associated with increased risk of default (P<0.05). Defaults occurred throughout the first 18 months of the two-year treatment course but were especially frequent among alcohol users after discharge from the initial four-to-five-month in-hospital phase of treatment, with the highest default rates occurring among alcohol users within two months of discharge. Default rates during the first two months after discharge were also elevated for patients who received care from mobile clinics.
Among patients who were not cured or did not complete MDR-TB treatment, the majority defaulted from treatment. Younger, economically-unstable patients and alcohol and drug users were particularly at risk. For alcohol users as well as mobile-clinic patients, the early outpatient treatment phase is a high-risk period for default that could be targeted in efforts to increase treatment completion rates.
Little is known about vitamin D status in low-income populations burdened with infectious diseases. Hence, there is a need for data on correlates of serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (S-25(OH)D) and its validity during infections.
To assess the role of pulmonary TB (PTB) and HIV as correlates of S-25(OH)D.
Age-sex-matched cross-sectional study among PTB patients and non-TB controls.
PTB patients were categorized as sputum negative (PTB−) and positive (PTB+) by culture. Non-TB controls were randomly selected among age-sex-matched neighbours to PTB+ patients. Height, weight, arm circumference and triceps skinfold were measured, and body mass index (BMI), arm fat (AFA) and muscle area (AMA) computed. HIV status, and S-25(OH)D, C-reactive protein (S-CRP) and α1-acid glycoprotein (S-AGP) were determined. Linear regression analysis with controls and PTB patients combined was used to identify correlates of S-25(OH)D.
S-25(OH)D data were available on 97.8% (1570) of 1605 participants. Mean (SD) S-25(OH)D was 84.4 (25.6) nmol/L with 39.6% <75 nmol/L among 347 non-TB controls. Time of recruitment, sex, PTB and HIV, and elevated S-AGP were correlates of S-25(OH)D. S-25(OH)D was 24.8 (95% CI 18.6;30.9) nmol/L higher in PTB compared to controls among females, but only 9.8 (95% CI:4.5;15.2) nmol/L among males (interaction p<0.0001). Females had 13.8 (95% CI:8.2;21.9) nmol/L lower S-25(OH)D than males, and HIV infected individuals had 8.5 (95% CI:4.9;12.1) higher S-25(OH)D compared to uninfected. Elevated S-AGP was a positive correlate of S-25(OH)D. Low BMI was associated with S-25(OH)D, but not with infections or S-AGP in the model.
While S-25(OH)D may decline transiently during a mild acute phase response, it may increase if the acute phase response leads to loss of fat. The validity of S-25(OH)D as a marker of vitamin D status may be affected by infections.
Uganda scaled-up Early HIV Infant Diagnosis (EID) when simplified methods for testing of infants using dried blood spots (DBS) were adopted in 2006 and sample transport and management was therefore made feasible in rural settings. Before this time only 35% of the facilities that were providing EID services were reached through the national postal courier system, Posta Uganda. The transportation of samples during this scale-up, therefore, quickly became a challenge and varied from facility to facility as different methods were used to transport the samples. This study evaluates a novel specimen transport network system for EID testing.
A retrospective study was done in mid-2012 on 19 pilot hubs serving 616 health facilities in Uganda. The effect on sample-result turnaround time (TAT) and the cost of DBS sample transport on 876 sample-results was analyzed.
The HUB network system provided increased access to EID services ranging from 36% to 51%, drastically reduced transportation costs by 62%, reduced turn-around times by 46.9% and by a further 46.2% through introduction of SMS printers.
The HUB model provides a functional, reliable and efficient national referral network against which other health system strengthening initiatives can be built to increase access to critical diagnostic and treatment monitoring services, improve the quality of laboratory and diagnostic services, with reduced turn-around times and improved quality of prevention and treatment programs thereby reducing long-term costs.
A prediction model for tuberculosis incidence is needed in China which may be used as a decision-supportive tool for planning health interventions and allocating health resources.
The autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model was first constructed with the data of tuberculosis report rate in Hubei Province from Jan 2004 to Dec 2011.The data from Jan 2012 to Jun 2012 were used to validate the model. Then the generalized regression neural network (GRNN)-ARIMA combination model was established based on the constructed ARIMA model. Finally, the fitting and prediction accuracy of the two models was evaluated.
A total of 465,960 cases were reported between Jan 2004 and Dec 2011 in Hubei Province. The report rate of tuberculosis was highest in 2005 (119.932 per 100,000 population) and lowest in 2010 (84.724 per 100,000 population). The time series of tuberculosis report rate show a gradual secular decline and a striking seasonal variation. The ARIMA (2, 1, 0) × (0, 1, 1)12 model was selected from several plausible ARIMA models. The residual mean square error of the GRNN-ARIMA model and ARIMA model were 0.4467 and 0.6521 in training part, and 0.0958 and 0.1133 in validation part, respectively. The mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error of the hybrid model were also less than the ARIMA model.
Discussion and Conclusions
The gradual decline in tuberculosis report rate may be attributed to the effect of intensive measures on tuberculosis. The striking seasonal variation may have resulted from several factors. We suppose that a delay in the surveillance system may also have contributed to the variation. According to the fitting and prediction accuracy, the hybrid model outperforms the traditional ARIMA model, which may facilitate the allocation of health resources in China.
Despite chemotherapy, patients with cured pulmonary tuberculosis may result in lung functional impairment.
To evaluate a novel scoring system based on the degree of radiographic abnormalities and related spirometric values in patients with cured pulmonary tuberculosis.
One hundred and twenty seven patients with cured pulmonary tuberculosis were prospectively enrolled in a referral hospital specializing in respiratory diseases. Spirometry was performed and the extent of radiographic abnormalities was evaluated twice by each of two readers to generate a novel quantitative score. Scoring reproducibility was analyzed by the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and the Bland-Altman method. Multiple linear regression models were performed to assess the association of the extent of radiographic abnormalities with spirometric values.
The intra-observer agreement for scoring of radiographic abnormalities (SRA) showed an ICC of 0.81 (CI:95%, 0.67–0.95) and 0.78 (CI:95%, 0.65–0.92), for reader 1 and 2, respectively. Inter-observer reproducibility for the first measurement was 0.83 (CI:95%, 0.71–0.95), and for the second measurement was 0.74 (CI:95%, 0.58–0.90). The Bland-Altman analysis of the intra-observer agreement showed a mean bias of 0.87% and -0.55% and an inter-observer agreement of -0.35% and -1.78%, indicating a minor average systematic variability.
After adjustment for age, gender, height, smoking status, pack-years of smoking, and degree of dyspnea, the scoring degree of radiographic abnormalities was significantly and negatively associated with absolute and percent predicted values of FVC: -0.07 (CI:95%, -0.01 to -0.04); -2.48 (CI:95%, -3.45 to -1.50); and FEV1 -0.07 (CI:95%, -0.10 to -0.05); -2.92 (CI:95%, -3.87 to -1.97) respectively, in the patients studied.
The extent of radiographic abnormalities, as evaluated through our novel scoring system, was inversely associated with spirometric values, and exhibited good reliability and reproducibility. As intra-observer and inter-observer agreement of the SRA varied from good to excellent, the use of SRA in this setting appears acceptable.
Under-nutrition is a known risk factor for TB and can adversely affect treatment outcomes. However, data from India are sparse, despite the high burden of TB as well as malnutrition in India. We assessed the nutritional status at the time of diagnosis and completion of therapy, and its association with deaths during TB treatment, in a consecutive cohort of 1695 adult patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in rural India during 2004 - 2009.Multivariable logistic regression was used to obtain adjusted estimates of the association of nutritional status with deaths during treatment. At the time of diagnosis, median BMI and body weights were 16.0 kg/m2and 42.1 kg in men, and 15.0 kg/m2and 34.1 kg in women, indicating that 80% of women and 67% of men had moderate to severe under-nutrition (BMI<17.0 kg/m2). Fifty two percent of the patients (57% of men and 48% of women) had stunting indicating chronic under-nutrition. Half of women and one third of men remained moderately to severely underweight at the end of treatment. 60 deaths occurred in 1179 patients (5%) in whom treatment was initiated. Severe under-nutrition at diagnosis was associated with a 2 fold higher risk of death. Overall, a majority of patients had evidence of chronic severe under-nutrition at diagnosis, which persisted even after successful treatment in a significant proportion of them. These findings suggest the need for nutritional support during treatment of pulmonary TB in this rural population.
Three networks/projects involving 27 European countries were established to investigate the quality of second-line drug (SLD) susceptibility testing with conventional and molecular methods. 1. The “Baltic-Nordic TB-Laboratory Network” comprised 11 reference laboratories in the Baltic-Nordic States. They performed SLD testing in the first phase with a panel of 20 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. After several laboratories made technical changes a second panel of 10 strains with a higher proportion of resistant strains were tested. Although the concordance for Ofloxacin, Kanamycin, and Capreomycin was consistently high, the largest improvements in performance were achieved for the analysis of Ofloxacin resistant (from 88.9 to 95.0%), and Capreomycin resistant (from 71.0 to 88.9%) strains. 2. Within the FP7 TB PAN-NET project (EU Grant agreement 223681) a quality control panel to standardize the EQA (External Quality Assurance) for first-line drugs (FLD) and SLD testing for phenotypic and molecular methods was established. The strains were characterized by their robustness, unambiguous results when tested, and low proportion of secondary drug resistances. 3. The (European Reference Laboratory Network-TB) ERLN-TB network analyzed four different panels for drug resistance testing using phenotypic and molecular methods; in two rounds in 2010 the 31 participating laboratories began with 5 strains, followed by 10 strains and 6 additional crude DNA extracts in 2011 and 2012 were examined by conventional DST and molecular methods. Overall, we demonstrated the importance of developing inter-laboratory networks to establish quality assurance and improvement of SLD testing of M. tuberculosis.
Challenges exist regarding TB infection control and TB in hospital-based healthcare workers in South Africa. However, few studies report on TB in non-hospital based healthcare workers such as primary or community healthcare workers. Our objectives were to investigate the implementation of TB infection control measures at primary healthcare facilities, the smear positive TB incidence rate amongst primary healthcare workers and the association between TB infection control measures and all types of TB in healthcare workers.
One hundred and thirty three primary healthcare facilities were visited in five provinces of South Africa in 2009. At each facility, a TB infection control audit and facility questionnaire were completed. The number of healthcare workers who had had TB during the past three years was obtained.
The standardised incidence ratio of smear positive TB in primary healthcare workers indicated an incidence rate of more than double that of the general population. In a univariable logistic regression, the infection control audit score was significantly associated with reported cases of TB in healthcare workers (OR=1.04, 95%CI 1.01-1.08, p=0.02) as was the number of staff (OR=3.78, 95%CI 1.77-8.08). In the multivariable analysis, the number of staff remained significantly associated with TB in healthcare workers (OR=3.33, 95%CI 1.37-8.08).
The high rate of TB in healthcare workers suggests a substantial nosocomial transmission risk, but the infection control audit tool which was used did not perform adequately as a measure of this risk. Infection control measures should be monitored by validated tools developed and tested locally. Different strategies, such as routine surveillance systems, could be used to evaluate the burden of TB in healthcare workers in order to calculate TB incidence, monitor trends and implement interventions to decrease occupational TB.
Tobacco use leads to many health complications and is a risk factor for the occurrence of cardio vascular diseases, lung and oral cancers, chronic bronchitis etc. Almost 6 million people die from tobacco-related causes every year. This study was conducted to measure the prevalence of tobacco use in three different areas around Chennai city, south India.
A survey of 7510 individuals aged > = 15 years was undertaken covering Chennai city (urban), Ambattur (semi-urban) and Sriperumbudur (rural) taluk. Details on tobacco use were collected using a questionnaire adapted from both Global Youth Tobacco Survey and Global Adults Tobacco Survey.
The overall prevalence of tobacco use was significantly higher in the rural (23.7%) compared to semi-urban (20.9%) and urban (19.4%) areas (P value <0.001) Tobacco smoking prevalence was 14.3%, 13.9% and 12.4% in rural, semi-urban and urban areas respectively. The corresponding values for smokeless tobacco use were 9.5%, 7.0% and 7.0% respectively. Logistic regression analysis showed that the odds of using tobacco (with smoke or smokeless forms) was significantly higher among males, older individuals, alcoholics, in rural areas and slum localities. Behavioural pattern analysis of current tobacco users led to three groups (1) those who were not reached by family or friends to advice on harmful effects (2) those who were well aware of harmful effects of tobacco and even want to quit and (3) those are exposed to second hand/passive smoking at home and outside.
Tobacco use prevalence was significantly higher in rural areas, slum dwellers, males and older age groups in this region of south India. Women used mainly smokeless tobacco. Tobacco control programmes need to develop strategies to address the different subgroups among tobacco users. Public health facilities need to expand smoking cessation counseling services as well as provide pharmacotherapy where necessary.
Tuberculosis, reported as the second most common infectious cause of death worldwide, is a key mortality contributor in developing countries and globally. The disease is endemic in Peru and while relative success was achieved during the 1990s in its control, this slowed as new complications, such as multi drug resistant TB arose. Health centre workers participating in the national DOTS program, create the front-line TB work-force in Peru meaning their knowledge and attitudes about the disease are key in its control.
A Spanish language, multiple choice knowledge and attitudes survey was designed based on previous successful studies and the national Peruvian TB control guidelines. It was applied to two health networks in Lima, Peru amongst 301health workers participating in the national TB control program from 66 different health centres. The study results were analysed to test mean knowledge scores amongst different groups, overall gaps in key areas of TB treatment and control knowledge, and attitudes towards the disease and the national TB control program.
A mean knowledge score of 10.1 (+/- 1.7) out of 15 or 67.3% correct was shown. Demographics shown to have an effect on knowledge score were age and level of education. Major knowledge gaps were noted primarily in themes relating to treatment and diagnostics. Greater community involvement including better patient education about TB was seen as important in implementing the national TB control program. Participants were in disagreement about the current distribution of health resources throughout the study area.
Discussion Serious knowledge gaps were identified from the survey; these reflect findings from a previous study in Lima and other studies from TB endemic areas throughout the world. Understanding these gaps and observations made by front-line TB workers in Lima may help to improve the national TB control program and other control efforts globally.
Tuberculosis infection, disease and mortality are all less common at high than low altitude and ascent to high altitude was historically recommended for treatment. The immunological and mycobacterial mechanisms underlying the association between altitude and tuberculosis are unclear. We studied the effects of altitude on mycobacteria and antimycobacterial immunity.
Antimycobacterial immunity was assayed in 15 healthy adults residing at low altitude before and after they ascended to 3400 meters; and in 47 long-term high-altitude residents. Antimycobacterial immunity was assessed as the extent to which participants’ whole blood supported or restricted growth of genetically modified luminescent Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) mycobacteria during 96 hours incubation. We developed a simplified whole blood assay that could be used by a technician in a low-technology setting. We used this to compare mycobacterial growth in participants’ whole blood versus positive-control culture broth and versus negative-control plasma.
Measurements of mycobacterial luminescence predicted the number of mycobacterial colonies cultured six weeks later. At low altitude, mycobacteria grew in blood at similar rates to positive-control culture broth whereas ascent to high altitude was associated with restriction (p≤0.002) of mycobacterial growth to be 4-times less than in culture broth. At low altitude, mycobacteria grew in blood 25-times more than negative-control plasma whereas ascent to high altitude was associated with restriction (p≤0.01) of mycobacterial growth to be only 6-times more than in plasma. There was no evidence of differences in antimycobacterial immunity at high altitude between people who had recently ascended to high altitude versus long-term high-altitude residents.
An assay of luminescent mycobacterial growth in whole blood was adapted and found to be feasible in low-resource settings. This demonstrated that ascent to or residence at high altitude was associated with decreased mycobacterial growth in whole blood relative to controls, consistent with altitude-related augmentation of antimycobacterial cellular immunity.
Delays in tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis, particularly in prisons, is associated with detrimental outcomes. The new GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert) offers accurate and rapid diagnosis of active TB, but its performance in improving case detection in high-transmission congregate settings has yet to be evaluated. We assessed the diagnostic accuracy of a single Xpert assay in an intensified case finding survey among HIV-infected prisoners in Malaysia.
HIV-infected prisoners at a single site provided two early-morning sputum specimens to be examined using fluorescence smear microscopy, BACTEC MGIT 960 liquid culture and a single Xpert. The sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values of Xpert were calculated relative to gold-standard results using MGIT 960 liquid culture. Relevant clinical and demographic data were used to examine correlates of active TB disease.
The majority of enrolled subjects with complete data (N=125) were men (90.4%), age <40 years (61.6%) and had injected drugs (75.2%). Median CD4 lymphocyte count was 337 cells/µL (IQR 149-492); only 19 (15.2%) were receiving antiretroviral therapy. Of 15 culture-positive TB cases, single Xpert assay accurately detected only eight previously undiagnosed TB cases, resulting in a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of 53.3% (95% CI 30.12-75.2%), 100% (95% CI 96.6-100%), 100% (95% CI 67.56-100%) and 94.0% (95% CI 88.2-97.1%), respectively. Only 1 of 15 (6.7%) active TB cases was smear-positive. The prevalence (12%) of undiagnosed active pulmonary TB (15 of 125 prisoners) was high and associated with longer duration of drug use (AOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03-1.26, for each year of drug use).
Single Xpert assay improved TB case detection and outperformed AFB smear microscopy, but yielded low screening sensitivity. Further examination of the impact of HIV infection on the diagnostic performance of the new assay alongside other screening methods in correctional settings is warranted.
Private medical practitioners in Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, India.
To evaluate self-reported TB diagnostic and treatment practices amongst private medical practitioners against benchmark practices articulated in the International Standards of Tuberculosis Care (ISTC), and factors associated with compliance with ISTC.
Cross- sectional survey using semi-structured interviews.
Of 296 randomly selected private practitioners, 201 (68%) were assessed for compliance to ISTC diagnostic and treatment standards in TB management. Only 11 (6%) followed a combination of 6 diagnostic standards together and only 1 followed a combination of all seven treatment standards together. There were 28 (14%) private practitioners who complied with a combination of three core ISTC (cough for tuberculosis suspects, sputum smear examination and use of standardized treatment). Higher ISTC compliance was associated with caring for more than 20 TB patients annually, prior sensitization to TB control guidelines, and practice of alternate systems of medicine.
Few private practitioners in Visakhapatnam, India reported TB diagnostic and treatment practices that met ISTC. Better engagement of the private sector is urgently required to improve TB management practices and to prevent diagnostic delay and drug resistance.
Twelve antiretroviral treatment centres under National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), Karnataka State, India.
For the period 2004-2011, to describe the trends in the numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) registered for care and their median baseline CD4 counts, disaggregated by age and sex.
Descriptive study involving analysis of routinely captured data (year of registration, age, sex, baseline CD4 count) under NACP.
34,882 (97% of total eligible) PLHIV were included in analysis. The number registered for care has increased by over 12 times during 2004-11; with increasing numbers among females. The median baseline CD4 cell count rose from 125 in 2004 to 235 in 2011 – the increase was greater among females as compared to males. However, about two-thirds still presented at CD4 cell counts less than 350.
We found an increasing trend of median CD4 counts among PLHIV presenting to ART centres in Karnataka, an indicator of enhanced and early access to HIV care. Equal proportion of females and higher baseline CD4 counts among them allays any fear of differential access by gender. Despite this relative success, a substantial proportion still presented at low CD4 cell counts indicating possibly delayed HIV diagnosis and delayed linkage to HIV care. Universal HIV testing at health care facilities and strengthening early access to care are required to bridge the gap.
Few studies have correlated the results of interferon (gamma interferon) release assays (IGRAs) with known markers of tuberculosis (TB) treatment response. We report the results of serial QuantiFERON-TB gold in-tube assay (QFT) testing on 149 patients with active tuberculosis and correlate the results with smear and culture conversion. We show that QFT results do not offer much value for treatment monitoring of TB disease.
The aims of the present study were to identify risk factors associated with latent tuberculosis (TB), examine the development of active disease among contacts, and assess the effectiveness of treating latent infection in indigenous Brazilians from January 2006 to December 2011. This was a retrospective study consisting of 1,371 tuberculosis contacts, 392 of whom underwent treatment for latent infection. Morbidity-from-TB data were obtained from the Information System for Disease Notification (SINAN) database, and the contacts’ data were collected from the clinical records using forms employed by Special Department of Indigenous Health (SESAI) multidisciplinary teams, according to SESAI’s instructions. The variables that were associated with latent infection among the contacts were age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02–1.04) and close contact with a smear-positive index case (OR: 2.26, 95% CI: 1.59–3.22). The variables associated with the development of active TB among the contacts were a tuberculin skin test (TST) ≥10 mm (relative risk [RR]: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.07–1.17), age (RR: 1.01, 95% CI: 1.00–1.03), and treatment of latent infection (RR: 0.03, 95% CI: 0.01–0.27). The estimated number of latent infection treatments needed to prevent one case of active TB among the contacts was 51 treatments (95% CI: 33–182). In contacts with TST ≥10 mm, 10 (95% CI: 6–19) latent infection treatments were necessary to prevent one case of active TB. Age and close contact with a smear-positive index case were associated with latent TB. Screening with TST is a high priority among individuals contacting smear-positive index cases. Age and TST are associated with the development of active TB among contacts, and treatment of latent infection is an effective measure to control TB in indigenous communities.
Molecular genotyping methods have shown infection with more than one Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain genotype in a single sputum culture, indicating mixed infection.
This study aimed to develop a PCR-based genotyping tool to determine the population structure of M. tuberculosis strain genotypes in primary Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tubes (MGIT) and Löwenstein–Jensen (LJ) cultures to identify mixed infections and to establish whether the growth media influenced the recovery of certain strain genotypes.
A convenience sample of 206 paired MGIT and LJ M. tuberculosis cultures from pulmonary tuberculosis patients resident in Khayelitsha, South Africa were genotyped using an in-house PCR-based method to detect defined M. tuberculosis strain genotypes.
The sensitivity and specificity of the PCR-based method for detecting Beijing, Haarlem, S-family, and LAM genotypes was 100%, and 75% and 50% for detecting the Low Copy Clade, respectively. Thirty-one (15%) of the 206 cases showed the presence of more than one M. tuberculosis strain genotype. Strains of the Beijing and Haarlem genotypes were significantly more associated with a mixed infection (on both media) when compared to infections with a single strain (Beijing MGIT p = 0.02; LJ, p<0.01) and (Haarlem: MGIT p<0.01; LJ, p = 0.01). Strains with the Beijing genotype were less likely to be with “other genotype” strains (p<0.01) while LAM, Haarlem, S-family and LCC occurred independently with the Beijing genotype.
The PCR-based method was able to identify mixed infection in at least 15% of the cases. LJ media was more sensitive in detecting mixed infections than MGIT media, implying that the growth characteristics of M. tuberculosis on different media may influence our ability to detect mixed infections. The Beijing and Haarlem genotypes were more likely to occur in a mixed infection than any of the other genotypes tested suggesting pathogen-pathogen compatibility.
Absence of a perfect reference test is an acknowledged source of bias in diagnostic studies. In the case of tuberculous pleuritis, standard reference tests such as smear microscopy, culture and biopsy have poor sensitivity. Yet meta-analyses of new tests for this disease have always assumed the reference standard is perfect, leading to biased estimates of the new test’s accuracy. We describe a method for joint meta-analysis of sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic test under evaluation, while considering the imperfect nature of the reference standard. We use a Bayesian hierarchical model that takes into account within- and between-study variability. We show how to obtain pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity, and how to plot a hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic curve. We describe extensions of the model to situations where multiple reference tests are used, and where index and reference tests are conditionally dependent. The performance of the model is evaluated using simulations and illustrated using data from a meta-analysis of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for tuberculous pleuritis. The estimate of NAAT specificity was higher and the sensitivity lower compared to a model that assumed that the reference test was perfect.
PMID: 22568612 CAMSID: cams3174
Bayesian; Bivariate model; Diagnostic test accuracy; Latent class model; Meta-analysis
Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) persists an important contributor to the burden of diseases in developing countries. TB control success is based on the patient’s compliance to the treatment. Depressive disorders have been negatively associated with compliance of therapeutic schemes for chronic diseases. This study aimed to estimate the significance and magnitude of major depressive episode as a hazard factor for negative outcomes (NO), including abandon or death in patients receiving TB treatment.
A longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate the association of major depressive episode (MDE), as measured by a 5-item version of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) with NO to TB treatment. Patients with confirmed TB were enrolled before the start of TB treatment. Baseline measurements included socio-demographic variables as well as the CES-D, which was also applied every month until the end of the treatment. Death and treatment default were assessed monthly. Survivor function (SF) for NO according to MDE status (CES-D≥6) at baseline (MDEb) was estimated. Cox’s Regression was performed for bivariate analyses as well as for the multivariate model. A total of 325 patients accepted to participate in the study, of which 34 where excluded for diagnosis of MDR-TB. NO was observed in 24 patients (8.2%); 109 (37%) presented MDEb. Statistically significant difference was found on the SF of patients with and without MDEb (0.85 vs. 0.96, p-value = 0.002). The hazard ratio for NO, controlled for age, sex, marital status and instruction level was 3.54 (95%CI 1.43–8.75; p-value = 0.006).
The presence of MDE at baseline is associated to NO of TB treatment. Targeting detection and treatment of MDE may improve TB treatment outcomes.
Trust in health care has been intensely researched in resource rich settings. Some studies in resource poor settings suggest that the dimensions and determinants of trust are likely to be different.
This study was done as a qualitative exploration of the dimensions and determinants of trust in health care in Tamil Nadu, a state in south India to assess the differences from dimensions and determinants in resource rich settings.
The participants included people belonging to marginalized communities with poor access to health care services and living in conditions of resource deprivation. A total of thirty five in depth interviews were conducted. The interviews were summarized and transcribed and data were analyzed following thematic analysis and grounded theory approach.
The key dimensions of trust in health care identified during the interviews were perceived competence, assurance of treatment irrespective of ability to pay or at any time of the day, patients’ willingness to accept drawbacks in health care, loyalty to the physician and respect for the physician. Comfort with the physician and health facility, personal involvement of the doctor with the patient, behavior and approach of doctor, economic factors, and health awareness were identified as factors determining the levels of trust in health care.
The dimensions and determinants of trust in health care in resource poor settings are different from that in resource rich settings. There is a need to develop scales to measure trust in health care in resource poor settings using these specific dimensions and determinants.