Overweight, Obesity, and Older Age Favor Latent Tuberculosis Infection among Household Contacts in Low Tuberculosis-Incidence Settings within Panama

Idalina Cubilla-Batista Tuberculosis Biomarker Research Unit, Centro de Biología Molecular y Celular de Enfermedades, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT-AIP), Ciudad del Saber, Panama;
Laboratorio Clínico, Hospital Rafael Estevez, Caja de Seguro Social, Aguadulce, Panama;

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Nadia Ruiz Tuberculosis Biomarker Research Unit, Centro de Biología Molecular y Celular de Enfermedades, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT-AIP), Ciudad del Saber, Panama;
Laboratorio Clínico, Hospital Rafael Estevez, Caja de Seguro Social, Aguadulce, Panama;
Maestría de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad de Panamá, Panama City, Panama;

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Dilcia Sambrano Tuberculosis Biomarker Research Unit, Centro de Biología Molecular y Celular de Enfermedades, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT-AIP), Ciudad del Saber, Panama;

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Juan Castillo Facultad de Informática, Electrónica y Comunicación, Extensión Universitaria de Aguadulce, Universidad de Panamá, Coclé, Panama

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Markela O. de Quinzada Maestría de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad de Panamá, Panama City, Panama;

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Begoña Gasteluiturri Laboratorio Clínico, Hospital Rafael Estevez, Caja de Seguro Social, Aguadulce, Panama;

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Amador Goodridge Tuberculosis Biomarker Research Unit, Centro de Biología Molecular y Celular de Enfermedades, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT-AIP), Ciudad del Saber, Panama;

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Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) remains the main source of new active tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide. Household close contacts (HCCs) are at high risk of acquiring LTBI and subsequent development of TB. In this study, we aim to identify risk factors associated with LTBI in HCCs of TB patients living in a low TB-incidence setting. Our results revealed that HCCs who are aged more than 50 years (OR = 4.05) and overweight (OR = 15.3) are at higher risk of acquiring LTBI. None of these LTBI household contacts progressed to active TB. These findings suggest that HCCs who are young adults and children with normal and low body mass index are less likely to acquire LTBI after exposure to TB patients, even in low TB-incidence settings.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Amador Goodridge, Tuberculosis Biomarker Research Unit, Centro de Biología Molecular y Celular de Enfermedades, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT-AIP), Edificio 219, City of Knowledge, Ciudad del Saber 0843-01103, Panama. E-mail: agoodridge@indicasat.org.pa

Financial support: This research was funded partially by the National Secretariat of Science and Technology of Panama (SENACYT) through the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores de Panamá (SNI), Programa de Inserción de Talento Especializado Grant No. ITE-11-020 and Grant No. ITE-11-018.

Authors’ addresses: Idalina Cubilla-Batista, Nadia Ruiz, and Begoña Gasteluiturri, Laboratorio Clinico, Hospital Rafael Estevez, Aguadulce, Panama, E-mails: idacubilla@yahoo.com, lisy82@hotmail.com, and begogastelu@hotmail.com. Dilcia Sambrano and Amador Goodridge, Tuberculosis Biomarker Research Unit, Centro de Biología Molecular y Celular de Enfermedades, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT-AIP), Ciudad del Saber, Panama, E-mails: ludy25305@gmail.com and agoodridge@indicasat.org.pa. Juan Castillo, Facultad de Informática, Universidad de Panamá, Panama City, Panama, E-mail: juanneloy07@gmail.com. Markela O. de Quinzada, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Panamá, Panama City, Panama, E-mail: markelaq@hotmail.com.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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