Prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection and associated risk factors in an urban African setting

Kizza, Florence N.; List, Justin; Nkwata, Allan K.; Okwera, Alphonse; Ezeamama, Amara E.; Whalen, Christopher C.; Sekandi, Juliet N.
April 2015
BMC Infectious Diseases;2015, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Nearly one third of the world is infected with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and a vast pool of individuals with LTBI persists in developing countries, posing a major barrier to global TB control. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of LTBI and the associated risk factors among adults in Kampala, Uganda. Methods: We performed a secondary analysis from a door-to-door cross-sectional survey of chronic cough conducted from January 2008 to June 2009. Urban residents of Rubaga community in Kampala aged 15 years and older who had received Tuberculin skin testing (TST) were included in the analysis. The primary outcome was LTBI defined as a TST with induration 10 mm or greater. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to assess the risk factors associated with LTBI. Results: A total of 290 participants were tested with TST, 283 had their tests read and 7 didn't have the TST read because of failure to trace them within 48-72 hours. Of the participants with TST results, 68% were female, 75% were 15-34 years, 83% had attained at least 13 years of education, 12% were smokers, 50% were currently married, 57% left home for school or employment, 21% were HIV positive and 65% reported chronic cough of 2 weeks or longer. The overall prevalence of LTBI was 49% [95% CI 44-55] with some age-and sex-specific differences. On multivariable analysis, leaving home for school or employment, aOR = 1.72; [95%CI: 1.05, 2.81] and age 25-34, aOR = 1.94; [95%CI: 1.12, 3.38]; 35 years and older, aOR = 3.12; [95%CI: 1.65, 5.88] were significant risk factors of LTBI. Conclusion: The prevalence of LTBI was high in this urban African setting. Leaving home for school or employment and older age were factors significantly associated with LTBI in this setting. This suggests a potential role of expansion of one's social network outside the home and cumulative risk of exposure to TB with age in the acquisition of LTBI. Our results provide support for LTBI screening and preventive treatment programs of these sub-groups in order to enhance TB control.


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