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Low Prevalence of Latent Tuberculosis Infection among Contacts of Smear-Positive Adults in Brazil

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  • 1 Federal University of São João del-Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil;
  • | 2 Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
  • | 3 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

This follow-up cross-sectional study aimed to analyze the prevalence rate and risk factors related to latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and active tuberculosis (TB) in children aged < 15 years in contact with adults with smear-positive pulmonary TB (PTB) in a Brazilian municipality. Data were collected from interviews, clinical evaluations, chest X-rays, tuberculin skin tests, and interferon gamma release assays. The median time elapsed between diagnosis of the index case (IC) and inclusion in the study was 2.5 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 1.5–4.4) and 7.4 years (IQR = 3.8–9.7) when we reassessed the development (or not) of active TB. The median age at the time of exposure to the IC was 6.6 years (IQR = 3.3–9.4) and 14.1 years (IQR = 8.9–17.7) at the last follow-up. Of the 99 children and adolescents in contact with smear-positive PTB, 21.2% (95% CI = 14.0–29.9) were diagnosed with LTBI, and none developed active TB. There was no statistically significant difference between the LTBI and non-LTBI groups regarding demographic, socioeconomic, and epidemiological characteristics. Unlike national and international scenarios, we found a lower frequency of LTBI and no active TB among our studied patients. For better understanding of these findings, further studies might add, among other factors, host and Mycobacterium tuberculosis genetic features.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Paulo Camargos, Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences, Federal University of São João del-Rei, 400 Sebastião Gonçalves Coelho Ave., Divinópolis 35501-296, Brazil. E-mail: pauloamcamargos@gmail.com

Financial support: This work was supported by funding from the Post-Graduate Program in Health Sciences of the Federal University of São João del-Rei and the Foundation for Research Support of the State of Minas Gerais (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais - FAPEMIG, Grant #CDS-APQ-00817-12 and #CDS-APQ-03958-16). P. C. and C. C. S. A. are supported by the Brazilian Council for Research and Technological Development (CNPq, Grant #303031/2016-6 and #305044/2012-5, respectively).

Authors’ addresses: Andreza Oliveira-Cortez, Emerson Lopes Froede, Angelita Cristine de Melo, Eliana Maria Mauricio da Rocha, Cláudia Di Lorenzo Oliveira, and Paulo Camargos, Federal University of São João del-Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil, E-mails: andrezaohcortez@gmail.com, emersonlf@hotmail.com, angelitamelo@ufsj.edu.br, elianarocha@ufsj.edu.br, claudia.dlorenzo@gmail.com, and paulo.camargos@pq.cnpq.br. Clemax Couto Sant’Anna, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, E-mail: clemax01@gmail.com. Leonardo Araújo Pinto, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, E-mail: leonardo.pinto@pucrs.br.

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