Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
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Prevalence and Associated Factors of Tuberculosis among Adult Household Contacts of Smear Positive Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients Treated in Public Health Facilities of Haramaya District, Oromia Region, Eastern Ethiopia

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

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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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Research Article

Enablers and Challenges in the Implementation of Active Case Findings in a Selected District of Karnataka, South India: A Qualitative Study

Background. Active case finding (ACF) for tuberculosis (TB) is a promising tool to enhance early case detection among marginalized populations. As opposed to passive case finding, it involves systematically searching for TB in individuals who would not spontaneously present for care. The National TB Program (NTP) of India has initiated ACF for TB through the existing general health system since the end of 2017. However, prior to scale-up, there is need for exploring the implementation challenges and solutions to improve the efficiency of this program. Objectives. (1) To explore the enablers and challenges in the implementation of ACF for TB by NTP in the Bengaluru rural district of Karnataka, South India, and (2) to explore the perceived solutions to improve the efficiency of ACF activity. Methods. A qualitative descriptive study was conducted in the Bengaluru rural district during July 2018. In-depth interviews using purposively selected health care providers involved in active case finding () and presumptive TB patients () were conducted. Manual content analysis was conducted by two independent researchers to generate categories and themes. Results. The challenges in conduct of ACF were as follows: inadequate training of health care workers, shortage of staff, indifferent attitude of community due to stigma, lack of awareness about TB, illiteracy, inability to convince patients for sputum test, and delay in getting CBNAAT results. The field staff recommended the installation of mobile CBNAAT machine, involvement of general health staff in activity, training of health workers on counseling of patients, and issue of identity cards for community health workers/volunteers so that people recognize them. Conclusion. The health system challenges in conduct of ACF need to be addressed by training the health staff involved in activity and also improving the access to TB diagnostics.

Research Article

Mobile Health Technologies May Be Acceptable Tools for Providing Social Support to Tuberculosis Patients in Rural Uganda: A Parallel Mixed-Method Study

Background. Social support has been shown to mitigate social barriers to medication adherence and improve tuberculosis (TB) treatment success rates. The use of mobile technology to activate social support systems among TB patients, however, has not been well explored. Moreover, studies that tie supportive SMS (Short Message Service) texts to electronic monitoring of TB medication adherence are lacking. Objective. To explore TB patients’ current access to social support and perceptions of utilizing real-time adherence monitoring interventions to support medication adherence. Methods. We purposively selected TB patients who owned phones, had been taking TB medications for ≥1 month, were receiving their treatment from Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, and reported having ≥1 social supporter. We interviewed these patients and their social supporters about their access to and perceptions of social support. We used STATA 13 to describe participants’ sociodemographic and social support characteristics. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis to derive categories describing accessibility and perceptions. Results. TB patients report requesting and receiving a variety of different forms of social support, including instrumental (e.g., money for transport and other needs and medication reminders), emotional (e.g., adherence counselling), and informational (e.g., medication side effects) support through mobile phones. Participants felt that SMS notifications may motivate medication adherence by creating a personal sense of obligation to take medications regularly. Participants anticipated that limited financial resources and relationship dynamics could constrain the provision of social support especially when patients and social supporters are not oriented about their expectations. Conclusion. Mobile telephones could provide alternative approaches to providing social support for TB medication adherence especially where patients do not stay close to their social supporters. Further efforts should focus on optimized designs of mobile phone-based applications for providing social support to TB patients and training of TB patients and social supporters to match their expectations.

Research Article

Chest Radiography and Xpert MTB/RIF® Testing in Persons with Presumptive Pulmonary TB: Gaps and Challenges from a District in Karnataka, India

Background. In India, as per the latest diagnostic algorithm, all persons with presumptive pulmonary TB (PPTB) are required to undergo sputum smear examination and chest radiography (CXR) upfront. Those with sputum smear positive, sputum smear negative, but CXR lesions suggestive of TB or those with strong clinical suspicion of TB are expected to undergo Xpert MTB/RIF® assay test (also known as CB-NAAT (cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test)). Objective. To assess what proportion of PPTB who are undergoing sputum smear examination at microscopy centers of public health facilities have undergone CXR and CB-NAAT. To explore the barriers for uptake of CXR and CB-NAAT from the public health care provider’s perspective. Methods. We conducted a sequential explanatory mixed-methods study in Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka State, South India. The quantitative component involved a review of records of PPTB who had undergone sputum smear examination in a representative sample of seven microscopy centers. The qualitative component involved key informant interviews with four medical officers and group interviews with 9 paramedical staff. Results. In February and March 2019, about 732 PPTB had undergone smear examination. Of these, 301 (41%) had undergone CXR and 49 (7%) had undergone CB-NAAT. The proportion of PPTB who had undergone CXR varied across the seven microscopy centers (0% to 89%). CB-NAAT was higher in PPTB from urban areas when compared to rural areas (8% vs. 3%) and in those who were smear positive when compared to smear negative (65% vs. 2%). The major barriers for CXR and CB-NAAT were nonavailability of these tests at all microscopy centers and patients’ reluctance to travel to the facilities where CXR and CB-NAAT services are available. Conclusions. CXR and CB-NAAT of PPTB are suboptimal. RNTCP should undertake measures to address these gaps in implementing its latest diagnostic algorithm.

Research Article

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Prevention Practices of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

The aim of this study was to assess community members’ knowledge and awareness levels, attitudes, and practices of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis. A quantitative descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The sample size consisted of four hundred (400) respondents aged 18 years and above on their last birthday who were purposively and conveniently selected from Port Elizabeth area in the Nelson Mandela Municipality. Data were collected using close-ended questions, which were administered by the researcher and two research assistants to the selected respondents. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The results of this study show poor knowledge and awareness levels, unfavourable attitudes, but good prevention practices of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis among Port Elizabeth community members. This study also found a statistically significant association between knowledge and attitudes ( value = <0.001), and no statistically significant association between knowledge and practices and attitude and practices, respectively ( values = 0.120 and 0.136). The study also revealed low literacy levels, inadequate information, misconceptions and erroneous beliefs about causes, transmission, prevention, treatment, and management of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis among the respondents. This study also highlighted the use and existence of dual healthcare system (traditional spiritual and western).The study found that the main source of Drug Resistant TB information was radio and television among the majority of research respondents. It is recommended that in future health education interventions and awareness campaigns need to be intensified in the area so that misconceptions and erroneous beliefs that exist in society can be addressed. It is also recommended that training programs that are culturally sensitive should be developed and delivered taking into account different languages and literacy levels that exist in society. Such education interventions should be facilitated in collaboration with people living with Drug Resistant Tuberculosis. A multidisciplinary approach should be fostered and collaborations with spiritual healers and various congregational leaders, traditional health practitioners, community leaders, and government leaders in the health sector should be promoted in order to deal with Drug Resistant Tuberculosis. It is also recommended that a similar study be conducted using a qualitative research approach in urban and rural areas of the Eastern Cape. Lastly, assessment of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of spiritual and traditional healers with regard to Drug Resistant Tuberculosis should be conducted as they can influence health-seeking behaviour.

Research Article

Tuberculosis at Farmer-Cattle Interface in the Rural Villages of South Gondar Zone of Northwest Ethiopia

Background. Tuberculosis (TB) has been an important public health concern in Ethiopia, particularly at areas of human-animal intersection. However, limited epidemiological information is available in this respect in the country. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate the transmission of TB at human-cattle interface, associated risk factors and public awareness about the disease at South Gondar Zone, northwest Ethiopia. Methods. A cross sectional study was conducted between March 2015 and April 2018 on 186 farmers and 476 cattle in South Gondar Zone, northwest Ethiopia. Bacteriological examination, region of difference (RD) 9-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR), single intradermal comparative tuberculin test (SICTT), and questionnaire were used for undertaking this study. Results. Culture positivity in farmers was 59.7% (111/186) and all the culture positive isolates were M. tuberculosis. About 68% (74/111) of culture positive respondents did not know about the transmission of TB from cattle to human or vice versa. The animal and herd prevalence of bovine TB were 1.5% (7/476) and 7.4% (7/95), respectively. Although the result was not statistically significant, the odds of bovine TB in cattle owned by TB positive households was slightly higher than those owned by TB free households (adjusted odds ratio, AOR = 1.39; 95% CI: 0.31–7.10; ). Conclusion. Although SIDCTT reactivity was slightly higher in cattle owned by TB positive households, all the human isolates were M. tuberculosis and no M. bovis was isolated from farmers, which could be due to the low prevalence of bovine TB in the area.

Research Article

Pulmonary Tuberculosis among Male Inmates in the Largest Prison of Eastern Nepal

Introduction. The prevalence of Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB) is much higher in the prison population than in the general population. This study aims to find out the prevalence of PTB and its associated factors among inmates in eastern Nepal. Methods. This cross-sectional study was conducted in Jhumka Regional Prison, the largest male prison of Eastern Nepal from September 2014 to August 2015. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to identify individuals with a cough more than one-week duration among 434 randomly selected inmates. Screening of PTB was done by sputum smear test and/or GeneXpert test. Prevalence of TB was defined as the number of cases detected during the study period divided by the total number of inmates screened during that period. Fisher’s exact test was used to find out the association of PTB with related variables. Results. A total of 434 inmates were screened for PTB with mean age 35.7 years and body mass index 22.7 kg/m2. A total of 68 inmates had a productive cough of more than a week and two patients were already on anti-tuberculosis therapy at the time of screening. Sixty sputum samples were considered for sputum smear/GeneXpert test and 6 of them (10%) had positive results. The prevalence of TB in the Prison was 1843/100,000 population. Chest pain and abnormal chest auscultation findings were found to be significantly associated with PTB. Conclusions. This study showed that there was a high rate of PTB among inmates in Nepal. The results suggest a need for effective screening of PTB and strategies to improve management including reduction of PTB transmission in the prison.

Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate16%
Submission to final decision97 days
Acceptance to publication44 days
CiteScore-
Impact Factor-
 Submit