Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Jun 27. pii: ciz569. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz569. [Epub ahead of print]

Estimating long-term tuberculosis reactivation rates in Australian migrants.

Author information

Victorian Tuberculosis Program, Melbourne Health, Victoria, Australia.
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
TB Modelling Group, TB Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



The risk of progression to tuberculosis (TB) disease is greatest soon after infection, yet disease may occur many years or decades later. However, rates of TB reactivation long after infection remain poorly quantified. Australia is a low-TB incidence setting and most cases occur among migrants. We explored how TB rates in Australian migrants varied with time from migration, age and gender.


We combined TB notifications in census years 2006, 2011 and 2016 with time and country-specific estimates oflatent TB prevalence in migrant cohorts to quantifypost-migration reactivation rates.


During the census years 3,246 TB cases occurred among an estimated 2,084,000 migrants with latent-TB. There were consistent trends in post-migration reactivation rates, which appeared to be dependent on both time from migration and age. Rates were lower in cohorts with increasing time until at least twenty years from migration, and on this background there also appeared to be increasing rates during youth (15-24 years of age), and in those aged 70 years and above. Within five years of migration, annual reactivation rates were approximately 400 per 100,000 (uncertainty interval [UI]: 320-480), dropping to 170 (UI: 130-220) and 110 (UI: 70-160) from five-to-ten and ten-to-twenty, then sustaining at 60-70 per 100,000 up to sixty years from migration. Rates varied depending on age at migration.


Post-migration reactivation rates appeared to show dependency on both time from migration and age. This approach to quantifying reactivation risk will enable evaluation of the potential impact of TB control and elimination strategies.


disease progression; epidemiologic methods; incidence; latent tuberculosis; mathematical modelling


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center