Prevalence of pulmonary TB and spoligotype pattern of **Mycobacterium tuberculosis** among TB suspects in a rural community in Southwest Ethiopia
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
BMC infectious diseases. - London
, p. 54,1-54,6
University of Antwerp
Background: In Ethiopia where there is no strong surveillance system and state of the art diagnostic facilities are limited, the real burden of tuberculosis (TB) is not well known. We conducted a community based survey to estimate the prevalence of pulmonary TB and spoligotype pattern of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in Southwest Ethiopia. Methods: A total of 30040 adults in 10882 households were screened for pulmonary TB in Gilgel Gibe field research centre in Southwest Ethiopia. A total of 482 TB suspects were identified and smear microscopy and culture was done for 428 TB suspects. Counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS was done for all TB suspects. Spoligotyping was done to characterize the Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates. Results: Majority of the TB suspects were females (60.7%) and non-literates (83.6%). Using smear microscopy, a total of 5 new and 4 old cases of pulmonary TB cases were identified making the prevalence of TB 30 per 100,000. However, using the culture method, we identified 17 new cases with a prevalence of 76.1 per 100,000. There were 4.3 undiagnosed pulmonary TB cases for every TB case who was diagnosed through the passive case detection mechanism in the health facility. Eleven isolates (64.7%) belonged to the six previously known spoligotypes: T, Haarlem and Central-Asian (CAS). Six new spoligotype patterns of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, not present in the international database (SpolDB4) were identified. None of the rural residents was HIV infected and only 5 (5.5%) of the urban TB suspects were positive for HIV. Conclusion: The prevalence of TB in the rural community of Southwest Ethiopia is low. There are large numbers of undiagnosed TB cases in the community. However, the number of sputum smear-positive cases was very low and therefore the risk of transmitting the infection to others may be limited. Active case finding through health extension workers in the community can improve the low case detection rate in Ethiopia. A large scale study on the genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Ethiopia is crucial to understand transmission dynamics, identification of drug resistant strains and design preventive strategies.