Tuberculosis burden in an urban population: a cross sectional tuberculosis survey from Guinea Bissau

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Background: Little is known about the prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in low income countries. We conducted a cross sectional survey for pulmonary TB and TB symptoms in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, in an urban cohort with known HIV prevalence. TB surveillance in the area is routinely based on passive case finding. Methods: Two cohorts were selected based on a previous HIV survey, but only 52.5% of those enrolled in the adult cohort had participated in the HIV survey. One cohort included all adults living in 384 randomly selected houses; in this cohort 8% (135/1687) were HIV infected. The other included individuals 50 years or older from all other houses in the study area; of these 11% (62/571) were HIV infected. Symptom screening was done through household visits using a standardised questionnaire. TB suspects were investigated with sputum smear microscopy and X-ray. Results: In the adult cohort, we found 4 cases among 2989 individuals screened, giving a total TB prevalence of 134/100,000 (95% CI 36-342/100,000). In the >50 years cohort, we found 4 cases among 571 individuals screened, giving a total prevalence of 701/100,000 (191-1784/100.000). Two of the eight detected TB cases were unknown by the TB program. Of the total TB cases five were HIV uninfected while three had unknown HIV status. The prevalence of TB symptoms was 2.1% (63/2989) and 10.3% (59/571) in the two cohorts respectively. Conclusions: In conclusion we found a moderately high prevalence of pulmonary TB and TB symptoms in the general population, higher among elderly individuals. By active case finding unknown cases were detected. Better awareness of TB and its symptoms needs to be promoted in low income settings.


  • Morten Bjerregaard-Andersen
  • Zacarias J. da Silva
  • Pernille Ravn
  • Morten Ruhwald
  • Paul L. Andersen
  • Morten Sodemann
  • Per Gustafson
  • Peter Aaby
  • Christian Wejse

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Infektionsmedicin
TidskriftBMC Infectious Diseases
StatusPublished - 2010
Peer review utfördJa


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