A pinboard by
Habiba Atta

Lecturer I, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria


The research focuses on tuberculosis among Qur'anic school children and other children in Zaria

Qur'anic school children otherwise known as, "al-majiri", often migrate from their parents' home in search of islamic knowledge in other parts of the country (Nigeria). The danger with this movement is the fact that a large number of these boys live with designated scholars who most often than not, cannot properly accomodate them. Thus, feeding and housing conditions for these children i very poor. So these kids live in overcrowded living quaters and most times have to go out on the streets in search of food to eat. All these conditions make them susceptible to all kinds of diseases and infections because of their poor nutritional status and inevitable low immune status. Our study showed by the use of questionaires that these children are exposed to a number of risk factors to tuberculosis which include, overcrowding, and poor nutritional status (as evidenced from their body mass index). However, there were no positive cases from our study which might be attributed to the method we used in analysing their sputum samples. It is likely that a more sensitive method would yield better results. On the other hand, we also analysed sputum samples of children living in the same area as the Qur'anic school children, but having signs of respiratory infection, and we obtained a prevalence of 12%. Symptoms such as bloody sputum and night sweat; as well as risk factors such as malnutrition and poor housing hygiene were found to be significantly associated with the infection with these children. It is important that issues such as poor housing, malnutrition and poor hygiene are tackled in Zaria in order to reduce the transmission of tuberculosis and other diseases. It is also pertinent to enlighten the relevant authorities of facilities housing large number of individuals such as Qur'anic school children, on the importance of providing nutritious meals and eliminating overcrowding. The snag is, most of these facilities rely on not just the prevailing socio-economic status in the country, but also on policies that involve a lot of bureaucratic bottlenecks. Thus, studies like ours hope to enlighten the general public and the relevant authorities on the need for an urgent sustainable action plan.


TB-PCR and drug resistance pattern in BALF in smear-negative active pulmonary TB.

Abstract: <h2>SETTING:</h2>A tertiary referral hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.<h2>OBJECTIVES:</h2>To evaluate the efficacy of a bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) tuberculosis (TB) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the diagnosis of sputum smear-negative pulmonary TB (PTB) and the usefulness of a drug-resistant (DR) TB-PCR assay compared with standard drug susceptibility testing (DST).<h2>DESIGN:</h2>BALF samples from 918 patients with acid-fast bacilli (AFB) negative sputum smears who underwent bronchoscopy for diagnostic evaluations of pulmonary diseases were prospectively determined for specific genetic elements of TB using the Anyplex(TM) MTB/NTM Real-Time Detection kit. Positive TB-PCR samples were subsequently evaluated for DR-TB using the Anyplex II MTB/MDR Detection kit.<h2>RESULTS:</h2>A total of 224 patients were finally diagnosed with PTB. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the TB-PCR assay were respectively 38.8&percnt;, 100&percnt;, 100&percnt;, and 83.5&percnt;. The TB-PCR assay was more sensitive than culture (30.4&percnt;) and smear (6.7&percnt;). Of the 68 TB-positive culture samples, three cases with either isoniazid (INH) or rifampicin (RMP) resistance were detected by DST. The Anyplex II MTB/MDR assay provided similar results.<h2>CONCLUSIONS:</h2>The BALF TB-PCR assay is a useful tool in the diagnosis of sputum smear-negative PTB. It can also provide INH and RMP susceptibility patterns similar to those of standard DST.

Pub.: 11 Oct '17, Pinned: 05 Nov '17

Undiagnosed Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis among Pilgrims during the 2015 Hajj Mass Gathering: A Prospective Cross-sectional Study.

Abstract: Mass gatherings pose a risk for tuberculosis (TB) transmission and reactivation of latent TB infection. The annual Hajj pilgrimage attracts 2 million pilgrims from high TB-endemic countries. We evaluated the burden of undiagnosed active pulmonary TB in pilgrims attending the 2015 Hajj mass gathering. We conducted a prospective cross-sectional study in Mecca, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for nonhospitalized adult pilgrims from five high TB-endemic countries. Enrollment criteria were the presence of a cough and the ability to produce a sputum sample. Sputum samples were processed using the Xpert MTB-RIF assay. Data were analyzed for drug-resistant TB, risk factors, and comorbidities by the country of origin. Of 1,164 consenting pilgrims enrolled from five countries: Afghanistan (316), Bangladesh (222), Nigeria (176), Pakistan (302), and South Africa (148), laboratory results were available for 1,063 (91.3%). The mean age of pilgrims was 54.5 (range = 18-94 years) with a male to female ratio of 2.6:1; 27.7% had an underlying comorbidity, with hypertension and diabetes being the most common, 20% were smokers, and 2.8% gave a history of previous TB treatment. Fifteen pilgrims (1.4%) had active previously undiagnosed drug-sensitive pulmonary TB (Afghanistan [12; 80%], Pakistan [2; 13.3%], and Nigeria [1; 6.7%]). No multidrug-resistant TBcases were detected. Pilgrims from high TB-endemic Asian and African countries with undiagnosed active pulmonary TB pose a risk to other pilgrims from over 180 countries. Further studies are required to define the scale of the TB problem during the Hajj mass gathering and the development of proactive screening treatment and prevention guidelines.

Pub.: 11 Oct '17, Pinned: 05 Nov '17