Predictive factors for latent tuberculosis infection among adolescents in a high-burden area in South Africa

H. Mahomed, T. Hawkridge, S. Verver, L. Geiter, M. Hatherill, D.-A. Abrahams, R. Ehrlich, W. A. Hanekom, G. D. Hussey

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A high tuberculosis (TB) burden area in South Africa (notification rate for all TB cases 1400 per 100 000 population). To determine the prevalence of and predictive factors associated with latent TB infection in adolescents. Adolescents aged 12-18 years were recruited from high schools, clinical and demographic data were collected, and a tuberculin skin test (TST) and a QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT) assay performed. A total of 6363 (58.2%) of 10 942 adolescents at the schools were enrolled. After exclusions, of 5244 participants, 55.2% (95%CI 53.8-56.5) had TST ≥ 5 mm, while 50.9% (49.5-52.2) were QFT-positive. On multivariate analysis, Black/mixed race racial groups, male sex, older age, household TB contact, low income and low education level were predictive factors for both TST- and QFT-positive results. About half of the adolescents were found to be latently infected with TB in a high TB burden area with demographic and poverty-related socio-economic factors predicting the risk of TB infection. Adolescents from deprived communities should be considered an important target group for educational interventions by TB control programmes in high-burden settings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-336
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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