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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012 Aug 15;60(5):519-24.

Symptom screen for identification of highly infectious tuberculosis in people living with HIV in Southeast Asia.

Author information

1
Epidemic Intelligence Service, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. iyn2@cdc.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV and frequently transmitted among this susceptible group. Transmission can be reduced by infection control practices. Simple evidence-based methods to identify patients who should be isolated are not well described in the literature. We sought to identify a simple, sensitive symptom or symptom combination that healthcare providers in resource-limited settings can use to identify and isolate persons living with HIV with highly infectious TB.

METHODS:

Participants from 8 outpatient facilities in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam underwent an extensive evaluation for TB. Patients with ≥1 positive sputum smear and Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture growth from a pulmonary site were defined as having highly infectious TB. We calculated sensitivity and prevalence of individual symptoms and >1000 symptom combinations.

RESULTS:

Of 1980 participants, 272 (14%) had TB. Forty percent (n = 109) were highly infectious. Sensitivity for detecting highly infectious TB was highest for having the following symptoms in the past month as follows: weight loss (84%), cough (83%), fever (81%), and fatigue (78%); however, these symptoms were found in 46%-54% of all participants. Having 2 or 3 of 4 symptoms (prevalence, 26%-47%)-weight loss, fever, current cough, and night sweats-was 72%-90% sensitive for highly infectious TB.

CONCLUSIONS:

The 2 or 3 of 4 symptom combinations of weight loss, fever, current cough, and night sweats, which are the same symptoms comprising the current World Health Organization-recommended TB diagnostic screen, are sensitive for detecting highly infectious TB in people living with HIV.

PMID:
22487587
DOI:
10.1097/QAI.0b013e318256b3db
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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