Prevalence of Tuberculosis in HIV- or Tuberculosis-exposed neonates at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka over a period of six months
Keywords:Neonate, Tuberculosis, HIV exposed, Xpert MTB-RIF
Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of mortality globally and represents a major health problem. The burden of TB in Zambia is among the highest in the African region with a national prevalence estimated at 455/100 000 for all age groups. A large proportion of people with TB are in the reproductive age group as such may either be pregnant or have young children. As at 2014 the prevalence of TB among women attending antenatal care in Zambia was estimated to be 1.5% in HIV infected women and 1.4% in uninfected women. There is a close association between maternal TB and HIV infection and postpartum infant morbidity and mortality. TB in neonates is very rare but a tenfold increase in the risk of acquiring TB in infants born to HIV infected mothers has been documented.
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted to establish the prevalence of tuberculosis in neonates exposed to either HIV or TB, or to both TB and HIV. The study included neonates aged 28 days and below that were admitted to the intensive care unit (NICU) and nurseries on general pediatric wards at the University teaching hospital. Mothers to neonates that had a positive rapid HIV test were approached, made aware of the study and invited to participate by giving consent to have their baby included in the study. When consent was granted, basic demographic details and medical information were collected. One gastric lavage sample was collected before the first feed of the day and analysed using Xpert MTB- RIF test.
Results: One hundred forty-nine consecutive neonates that met the inclusion criteria were enrolled in the study. The average age of the neonates was nine days, 49 % had mean birth weight of 2.50kg (0.85 SD), 86 full term delivery and 73 (49%) were male. One hundred, ten (110) were born to multiparous (74%) vs 38 primiparous (26%) mothers. All the neonates enrolled in the study were HIV exposed and only one neonate was exposed to both TB and HIV. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was detected in 2 out 149 samples analysed using the Xpert MTB-RIF test. None were positive for rifampicin resistance
Conclusion: The prevalence of TB using Xpert MTB-RIF test performed on gastric aspirates of HIV exposed neonates admitted to the University teaching hospital is 1.3 %.
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