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Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017 May 4;4(3):ofx092. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofx092. eCollection 2017 Summer.

Integrated Tuberculosis/Human Immunodeficiency Virus Community-Based Case Finding in Rural South Africa: Implications for Tuberculosis Control Efforts.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, AIDS Program, Yale University School of Medicine, and.
Church of Scotland Hospital, and.
Philanjalo NGO, Tugela Ferry, South Africa.
Yale Center for Analytical Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; and.
Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor University School of Medicine, Texas.



Intensive case finding is endorsed for tuberculosis (TB) control in high-risk populations. Novel case-finding strategies are needed in hard-to-reach rural populations with high prevalence of TB and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).


We performed community-based integrated HIV and TB intensive case finding in a rural South African subdistrict from March 2010 to June 2012. We offered TB symptom screening, sputum collection for microbiologic diagnosis, rapid fingerstick HIV testing, and phlebotomy for CD4 cell count. We recorded number of cases detected and calculated population-level rates and number needed to screen (NNS) for drug-susceptible and -resistant TB.


Among 5615 persons screened for TB at 322 community sites, 91.2% accepted concurrent HIV testing, identifying 510 (9.9%) HIV-positive individuals with median CD4 count of 382 cells/mm3 (interquartile range = 260-552). Tuberculosis symptoms were reported by 2049 (36.4%), and sputum was provided by 1033 (18.4%). Forty-one (4.0%) cases of microbiologically confirmed TB were detected for an overall case notification rate of 730/100000 (NNS = 137); 11 (28.6%) were multidrug-resistant or extensively drug-resistant TB. Only 5 (12.2%) TB cases were HIV positive compared with an HIV coinfection rate of 64% among contemporaneously registered TB cases (P = .001).


Community-based integrated intensive case finding is feasible and is high yield for drug-susceptible and -resistant TB and HIV in rural South Africa. Human immunodeficiency virus-negative tuberculosis predominated in this community sample, suggesting a distinct TB epidemiology compared with cases diagnosed in healthcare facilities. Increasing HIV/TB integrated community-based efforts and other strategies directed at both HIV-positive and HIV-negative tuberculosis may contribute to TB elimination in high TB/HIV burden regions.


HIV; community; integration; intensive case finding; tuberculosis.

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