- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: From 1993 to 2010, annual U.S. tuberculosis (TB) rates declined by 58%. However, this decline has slowed and disproportionately occurred among U.S.-born (78%) versus foreign-born persons (47%). Addressing the high burden of latent TB infection (LTBI) must be prioritized. Only Tennessee has implemented a statewide program for finding and treating people with LTBI. The program was designed to address high statewide TB rates and growing burden among the foreign-born. We sought to assess the feasibility and yield of Tennessee's program. Analyzing data from the 4.8-year period from program inception in March 2002 through December 2006, we quantified patients screened using a TB risk assessment tool, tuberculin skin tests (TST) placed and read, TST results, and patients initiating and completing LTBI treatment. We then estimated the number needed to screen to find and treat one person with LTBI and to prevent one case of TB. Of 168,517 persons screened, 102,709 had a TST placed and read. Among 9,090 (9%) with a positive TST result, 53% initiated treatment, 54% of whom completed treatment. An estimated 195 TB cases were prevented over the 4.8 years analyzed, and program performance measures improved annually. The number of TSTs placed to prevent one TB case ranged from 150 for foreign-born persons to 9,834 for persons without TB risk. Targeted tuberculin testing and LTBI treatment is feasible and likely to reduce TB rates over time. Yield and cost-effectiveness are maximized by prioritizing foreign-born persons, a large population with high TB risk.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) fuels tuberculosis (TB) epidemics. In controlled clinical trials, antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces TB incidence in HIV-infected patients. In this study we determine if, under programmatic conditions, Brazil's policy of universal ART access has impacted TB incidence among HIV-infected patients. METHODS: We abstracted clinical information from records of HIV-infected patients managed in the public sector in 11 Brazilian states between 1/1/1995 and 12/31/2001. Case ascertainment (TB and HIV) utilized guidelines (with added stringency) published by Brazil's Ministry of Health. We determined TB incidence and hazards ratio (HR) for ART-naïve and ART-treated [including highly active ART (HAART)] patients employing Cox proportional hazards analysis. RESULTS: Information from 463 HIV-infected patients met study criteria. The median age of the study population was 34 years, 70% were male, and mean follow-up to primary endpoints--TB, death, and last clinic visit--was 330, 1059, and 1125 days, respectively. Of the 463 patients, 76 (16%) remained ART-naïve. Of the patients who never received HAART (n = 157) 81 were treated with ART non-HAART. Of the patients who received any ART (n = 387), 306 were treated with HAART (includes those patients who later switched from ART non-HAART to HAART). Tuberculosis developed in 39/463 (8%) patients. Compared to HAART- and ART non-HAART-treated patient groups, TB incidence was 10- (p
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SETTING: In resource-poor countries, few tuberculosis (TB) program staff at the national, provincial, and even district levels have the basic analytical and epidemiological skills necessary for collecting and analyzing quality data pertaining to national TB control program (NTP) improvements. This includes setting program priorities, operations planning, and implementing and evaluating program activities. OBJECTIVES: To present a model course for building capacity in basic epidemiology and operations research (OR). DESIGN: A combination of didactic lectures and applied field exercises were used to achieve the main objectives of the 6-day OR course. These were to increase the understanding of quantitative and qualitative research concepts, study design, and analytic methods, and to increase awareness of how these methods apply to the epidemiology and control of TB; and to demonstrate the potential uses of OR in answering practical questions on NTP effectiveness. As a final outcome, course participants develop OR proposals that are funded and later implemented. RESULTS: Since 1997, this OR course has been conducted nine times in five countries; 149 key NTP and laboratory staff have been trained in OR methods, and 44 OR protocols have been completed or are underway. CONCLUSION: This low-cost model course can be adapted to a wide range of public health issues.