Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
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Patient- and Health-System-Related Barriers to Treatment Adherence for Patients with Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the Philippines: A Mixed-Methods Study

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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment publishes original research articles and review articles related to all aspects of tuberculosis, from the immunological basis of disease to translational and clinical research.

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Research Article

Topic Analysis and Mapping of Tuberculosis Research Using Text Mining and Co-Word Analysis

Tuberculosis is still one of the most severe progressive diseases; it severely limits the social and economic development of many countries. In the present study, the topic trend of scientific publications on tuberculosis has been examined using text mining techniques and co-word analysis with an analytical approach. The statistical population of the study is all global publications related to tuberculosis. In order to extract the data, the Scopus citation database was used for the period 1900 to 2022. The main keywords for the search strategy were chosen through consultation with thematic specialists and using MESH. Python programming language and VOSviewer software were applied to analyze data. The results showed four main topics as follows: “Clinical symptoms” (41.8%), “Diagnosis and treatment” (28.1%), “Bacterial structure, pathogenicity and genetics” (22.3%), and “Prevention” (7.84%). The results of this study can be helpful in the decision of this organization and knowledge of the process of studies on tuberculosis and investment and development of programs and guidelines against this disease.

Review Article

Yield and Coverage of Active Case Finding Interventions for Tuberculosis Control:A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Background. Active case finding (ACF) for tuberculosis (TB) is a key strategy to reduce diagnostic delays, expedite treatment, and prevent transmission. Objective. Our objective was to identify the populations, settings, screening and diagnostic approaches that optimize coverage (proportion of those targeted who were screened) and yield (proportion of those screened who had active TB) in ACF programs. Methods. We performed a comprehensive search to identify studies published from 1980-2016 that reported the coverage and yield of different ACF approaches. For each outcome, we conducted meta-analyses of single proportions to produce estimates across studies, followed by meta-regression to identify predictors. Findings. Of 3,972 publications identified, 224 met criteria after full-text review. Most individuals who were targeted successfully completed screening, for a pooled coverage estimate of 93.5%. The pooled yield of active TB across studies was 3.2%. Settings with the highest yield were internally-displaced persons camps (15.6%) and healthcare facilities (6.9%). When compared to symptom screening as the reference standard, studies that screened individuals regardless of symptoms using microscopy, culture, or GeneXpert®MTB/RIF (Xpert) had 3.7% higher case yield. In particular, microbiological screening (usually microscopy) as the initial test, followed by culture or Xpert for diagnosis had 3.6% higher yield than symptom screening followed by microscopy for diagnosis. In a model adjusted for use of Xpert testing, approaches targeting persons living with HIV (PLWH) had a 4.9% higher yield than those targeting the general population. In all models, studies targeting children had higher yield (4.8%-5.7%) than those targeting adults. Conclusion. ACF activities can be implemented successfully in various populations and settings. Screening yield was highest in internally-displaced person and healthcare settings, and among PLWH and children. In high-prevalence settings, ACF approaches that screen individuals with laboratory tests regardless of symptoms have higher yield than approaches focused on symptomatic individuals.

Research Article

Determinants of Weight Gain among Adult Tuberculosis Patients during Intensive Phase in Debre Markos Town Public Health Facilities, Northwest Ethiopia, 2020: Unmatched Case-Control Study

Background. Ethiopia is one of the highest tuberculosis burden countries globally, and tuberculosis is one of the most pressing health problems nationally. Weight gain during treatment is the main indicator of good treatment outcome, but there is no adequate information regarding the factors that affect weight gain in Ethiopia. Objective. The objective of this study was to identify determinants of weight gain among adult tuberculosis patients during the intensive phase, in Debre Markos town public health institutions Northwest Ethiopia, 2020. Methods. Unmatched case-control study was conducted in Debre Markos town public health facilities with a total sample size of 236. Cases (clients who got weight) and controls (clients who did not get weight) were enrolled in the study consecutively, and data were collected using standardized questionnaires. Data were entered through Epi-Data version 4.2 and exported to SPSS version 25 for analysis. Bivariable analysis was done, and all independent variables that had were entered into multivariable binary logistic regression analysis. Finally, independent variables which were significantly associated with weight gain at were considered determinant factors of weight gain. Result. Pulmonary tuberculosis (AOR: 5 (95% CI: 2.3, 11.2)), monitoring by health professionals (AOR: 3.7 (1.6, 8.4)), ≥18.5 baseline body mass index (AOR: 3.4 (95% CI: 1.6, 7.3)), parasitic disease (AOR: 3.2 (95% CI: 1.3, 7.99)), <30 days duration of illness before start of treatment (AOR: 2.8 (95% CI: 1.2, 6.1)), and human immune virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AOR: 3.3 (95% CI: 1.2, 9.1)) were independently associated with weight gain compared to their counterpart. Conclusion. Type of tuberculosis, monitoring by health professionals, baseline status, parasitic disease, duration of illness before start of treatment, and human immune virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome were with the determinants of weight gain. Therefore, early detection, support and supervision, and attention for comorbidity are mandatory during antituberculosis treatment.

Review Article

Research Questions and Priorities for Pediatric Tuberculosis: A Survey of Published Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Background. Advancing a research agenda designed to meet the specific needs of children is critical to ending pediatric TB epidemic. Systematic reviews are increasingly informing policies in pediatric tuberculosis (TB) care and control. However, there is a paucity of information on pediatric TB research priorities. Methodology. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library for systematic reviews and meta-analyses on any aspect related to pediatric TB published between 2015 and 2021. We used the UK Health Research Classification System (HRCS) to help us classify the research questions and priorities. Findings. In total, 29 systematic reviews, with 84 research questions, were included in this review. The four most common research topics in the area of detection were 43.33% screening and diagnosis of TB, 23.33% evaluation of treatments and therapeutic interventions, 13.34% TB etiology and risk factors, and 13.34% prevention of disease and conditions and promotion of well-being. The research priorities focused mainly on evaluating TB diagnosis by improving yield through enhanced in specimen collection or preparation and evaluating of bacteriological TB diagnostic tests. Other topics of future research were developing a treatment for TB in children, assessing the use of IPT in reducing TB-associated morbidity, evaluating the prioritization of an IPT-friendly healthcare environment, and providing additional guidance for the use of isoniazid in the prevention of TB in HIV-infected children. Conclusion. There is a need for more systematic reviews on pediatric TB. The review identified several key priorities for future pediatric TB research mainly in the domain of (1) “Detection, screening and diagnosis,” “Development of Treatments and Therapeutic Interventions,” and “Prevention of Disease and Conditions, and Promotion of Well-Being.” These domains are very relevant in the research component of the roadmap towards ending TB in children. It also will serve as an additional action in the WHO End TB strategy.

Research Article

Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Rifampicin Resistance Using GeneXpert MTB/RIF Assay at Enat Hospital, Central Ethiopia

Background. Tuberculosis remains to be a public health threat in Ethiopia. However, the use of ill diagnostic methods and the lack of enough epidemiological information in the country contributed to the diagnostic delay and development of anti-TB drug resistance. Therefore, the present study is aimed at assessing the prevalence of pulmonary TB (PTB) and the development of drug resistance using GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay in Merhabete district, Central Ethiopia. Methods. A cross-sectional, health facility-based study was conducted from December 2019 to June 2020. Bacteriological examination and GeneXpert molecular diagnostic methods were used for the detection of M. tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance (RR). Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were used to determine the possible association of risk factors with the occurrence of PTB and RR. values of <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results. The overall prevalence rates of PTB and RR M. tuberculosis were 11.2% and 15.8%, respectively. The logistic regression analysis revealed that being in the age group of 49-64 years was significantly associated with the occurrence of TB (). The odds of HIV-positive and retreatment study participants to be infected by M. tuberculosis were much more than those of HIV-negative and newly treated cases, respectively (). However, none of the sociodemographic and clinical patient characteristics was significantly associated with the development of RR-TB (). Conclusion. In the present study, high prevalence rates of PTB and RR M. tuberculosis were observed. The findings, which were attributed to different risk factors, suggested an urgent need for appropriate intervention measures to reduce the transmission of PTB and the development of anti-TB drug resistance in the study area.

Research Article

Time to Develop and Predictors for Incidence of Tuberculosis among Children Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy

Infection by the human immune deficiency virus (HIV) is the strongest risk factor for latent or new infection of tuberculosis (TB) through reduction of CD4 T-lymphocytes and cellular immune function. Almost one-third of deaths among people living with HIV are attributed to tuberculosis. Despite this evidence, in Ethiopia, there is a scarcity of information regarding the incidence of tuberculosis for children living with HIV. Thus, this study assessed time to develop and predictors for incidence of tuberculosis in children attending HIV/AIDS care in public hospitals: North West Ethiopia 2021. Methods. A facility-based retrospective cohort study was conducted among 421 seropositive children on antiretroviral therapy in two hospitals between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2020. EPI-DATA version 3.2 and STATA/14 software were used for data entry and analysis, respectively. Tuberculosis-free survival time was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier survival curve. Bivariate and multivariable Cox regression model was fitted to identify predictors at a value <0.05 within 95% CI. Results. In the final analysis, a total of 421 seropositive children were included, of whom, 64 (15.2%) developed tuberculosis at the time of follow-up. The mean (±SD) age of the children was years, with a median (IQR) time to develop TB that was 23.5 () months. This study found that the incidence of tuberculosis was 5.9 (95% CI: 4.7; 7.6) per 100 person-years (PY) risk of observation. Cases at baseline not taking cotrimoxazol preventive therapy (CPT) (; 95% CI, 1.4-4.7, ), being severely stunted (: 95% CI, 1.2-7.8, ), and having low hemoglobin level (; 95% CI, 2.1-8.1, ) were found to be predictors of tuberculosis. Conclusion. A higher rate of tuberculosis incidence was reported in our study as compared with previous studies in Ethiopia. Cases at baseline not taking cotrimoxazol preventive therapy (CPT), being severely stunted, and having low hemoglobin (≤10 mg/dl) levels were found to be at higher risk to developed TB incidence.

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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.