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The changing epidemiology of spinal tuberculosis: the influence of international immigration in Catalonia, 1993–2014

  • M. PEGHIN (a1) (a2) (a3), D. RODRIGUEZ-PARDO (a1) (a2) (a3), A. SANCHEZ-MONTALVA (a1) (a4), F. PELLISÉ (a5), A. RIVAS (a6), T. TORTOLA (a7), J. AGUILAR (a1), B. ALMIRANTE (a1) (a2) (a3) and C. PIGRAU (a1) (a2) (a3)...

Summary

The overall incidence of spinal tuberculosis (TB) appears to be stable or declining in most European countries, but with an increasing proportion of cases in the foreign-born populations. We performed a retrospective observational study (1993–2014), including all cases of spinal TB diagnosed at a Barcelona hospital to assess the epidemiological changes. Fifty-four episodes (48·1% males, median age 52 years) of spinal TB were diagnosed. The percentage of foreign-born residents with spinal TB increased from 14% to 45·2% in the last 10 years (P = 0·017). Positive Mycobacterium tuberculosis testing in vertebral specimens was 88·2% (15/17) for GeneXpert MTB/RIF. Compared with natives, foreign-born patients were younger (P < 0·01) and required surgery more often (P = 0·003) because of higher percentages of paravertebral abscess (P = 0·038), cord compression (P = 0·05), and persistent neurological sequelae (P = 0·05). In our setting, one-third of spinal TB cases occurred in non-native residents. Compared with natives, foreign-born patients were younger and had greater severity of the disease. The GeneXpert MTB/RIF test may be of value for diagnosing spinal TB.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: D. Rodriguez-Pardo, PhD, Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, P Vall d'Hebron 119-129, 08035 Barcelona, Spain. (Email: dolorodr@vhebron.net)

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These authors contributed equally to this work.

Footnotes

References

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The changing epidemiology of spinal tuberculosis: the influence of international immigration in Catalonia, 1993–2014

  • M. PEGHIN (a1) (a2) (a3), D. RODRIGUEZ-PARDO (a1) (a2) (a3), A. SANCHEZ-MONTALVA (a1) (a4), F. PELLISÉ (a5), A. RIVAS (a6), T. TORTOLA (a7), J. AGUILAR (a1), B. ALMIRANTE (a1) (a2) (a3) and C. PIGRAU (a1) (a2) (a3)...

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