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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 1999 Apr;3(4):330-6.

Risk factors for negative sputum acid-fast bacilli smears in pulmonary tuberculosis: results from Dakar, Senegal, a city with low HIV seroprevalence.

Author information

1
INSERM U13/IMEA, Paris, France. b.samb@st-maurice.inserm.fr

Abstract

SETTING:

Two teaching hospitals in Dakar, Senegal, a West African country with a low prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether patients with HIV-associated pulmonary tuberculosis have fewer acid-fast bacilli (AFB) in their sputum as assessed by routine microscopy, and to correlate the findings with systematically obtained clinical, radiographic and laboratory variables.

DESIGN:

Prospective study from November 1995 to October 1996 of 450 consecutive patients diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis.

RESULTS:

Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 380 patients (84.4%) by positive bacteriology, in 61 (13.6%) by a favorable response to anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy, and in nine (2.0%) by the presence of a miliary radiographic pattern. Forty (8.9%) patients were HIV-seropositive. AFB-negative smears were found in 14/40 (35.0%) of the HIV-seropositive patients with pulmonary tuberculosis compared with 71/410 (17.3%) of the seronegative patients (risk ratio [RR] = 2.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-3.24, P = 0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed that AFB smear negativity was associated with absence of cavitation (P = 0.002), lack of cough (P = 0.005), the presence of HIV seropositivity (P = 0.02), a CD4+ cell count above 200/mm3 (P = 0.02), and age over 40 years (P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

Compared with HIV-seronegative patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, seropositive patients in Dakar, Senegal, are more likely to have negative sputum-AFB smears. This phenomenon has now been observed in seven of eight sub-Saharan African countries with varying HIV seroprevalence from which reports are available.

PMID:
10206504
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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