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Prevalence of sputum smear-positive tuberculosis in a rural area in Bangladesh

  • K. ZAMAN (a1), M. YUNUS (a1), S. E. ARIFEEN (a1), A. H. BAQUI (a2), D. A. SACK (a1), S. HOSSAIN (a1), Z. RAHIM (a1), M. ALI (a3), S. BANU (a1), M. A. ISLAM (a4), N. BEGUM (a1), V. BEGUM (a5), R. F. BREIMAN (a6) and R. E. BLACK (a2)...

Abstract

The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of smear-positive tuberculosis (TB) in a rural area in Bangladesh at Matlab. A TB surveillance system was established among 106000 people in rural Bangladesh at Matlab. Trained field workers interviewed all persons aged [ges ]15 years to detect suspected cases of TB (cough>21 days) and sputum specimens of suspected cases were examined for acid-fast bacilli (AFB). Of 59395 persons interviewed, 4235 (7·1%) had a cough for >21 days. Sputum specimens were examined for AFB from 3834 persons, 52 (1·4%) of them were positive for AFB. The prevalence of chronic cough and sputum positivity were significantly higher among males compared to females (P<0·001). The population-based prevalence rate of smear-positive TB cases was 95/100000 among persons aged [ges ]15 years. Cases of TB clustered geographically (relative risk 5·53, 95% CI 3·19–9·59). The high burden of TB among rural population warrants appropriate measures to control TB in Bangladesh. The higher prevalence of persistent cough and AFB-positive sputum among males need further exploration. Factors responsible for higher prevalence of TB in clusters should be investigated.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

ICDDR,B, GPO Box 128, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh. (Email: kzaman@icddrb.org)

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