Impact on tuberculosis diagnostic during COVID-19 pandemic in a tertiary care hospital

Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin (Engl Ed). 2023 Feb 1:S2529-993X(23)00038-2. doi: 10.1016/j.eimce.2022.11.020. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study is to review how did the first three COVID-19 waves affected the diagnostic of tuberculosis and to describe the extra-pulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (TB) diagnosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective observational study was done during the first three waves of pandemic to ascertain the impact on TB samples and to recover the extra-pulmonary TB cases we included the first two years of COVID-19. All relevant data was recovered from hospital and Clinical Microbiology records.

RESULTS: Prepandemic period showed an average of 44 samples per week for TB study; during the first three waves this number dropped to 23.1 per week. A reduction of 67.7% of pulmonary TB diagnosis was observed and an increase of 33.3% diagnosis of extra-pulmonary TB was noted when comparing pre-pandemic and pandemic period.

DISCUSSION: The number of declared cases and samples for TB diagnosis dropped during the first three COVID-19 waves due to the overstretched Public Health System which could lead to a delay in diagnosis, treatment and to the spread of TB disease in the general population. Surveillance programs should be reinforced to avoid this.

PMID:36737366 | PMC:PMC9890387 | DOI:10.1016/j.eimce.2022.11.020


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