Evaluating the effectiveness of a novel systematic screening approach for tuberculosis among individuals suspected or recovered from COVID-19: experiences from Niger and Guinea

Aboubacar Sidiki Magassouba, Souleymane Mahamadou Bassirou, Almamy Amara Toure, Boubacar Djelo Diallo, Soumana Alphazazi, Diao Cisse, Mohamed Sitan Keita, Elhadj Saidou Seyabatou, Adama Marie Bangoura, Hugues Asken Traore, Tom Decroo, Jonathon R. Campbell, Vanessa Veronese, Corinne Simone Collette Merle

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Abstract

Evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacts tuberculosis (TB) activities. As TB and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, we assessed the effectiveness of integrated TB/COVID-19 screening in Guinea and Niger. From May to December 2020, TB screening was offered to symptomatic patients after a negative COVID-19 PCR test or after recovery from COVID-19 in Guinea. From December 2020 to March 2021, all presumptive COVID-19 patients with respiratory symptoms were tested simultaneously for COVID-19 and TB in Niger. We assessed the TB detection yield and used micro-costing to estimate the costs associated with both screening algorithms. A total of 863 individuals (758 in Guinea, and 105 in Niger), who were mostly male (60%) and with a median age of 34 (IQR: 26-45), were screened for TB. Reported symptoms were cough >= 2 weeks (49%), fever (45%), and weight loss (30%). Overall, 61 patients (7%) tested positive for COVID-19 (13 in Guinea, 48 in Niger) and 43 (4.9%) were diagnosed with TB disease (35 or 4.6% in Guinea, and 8 or 7.6% in Niger). The cost per person initiating TB treatment was USD $367 in Guinea and $566 in Niger. Overall, the yield of both approaches was high, and the cost was modest. Optimizing integrated COVID-19/TB screening may support maintaining TB detection during the ongoing pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number228
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume7
Issue number9
Number of pages11
ISSN2414-6366
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • tuberculosis
  • active TB screening
  • Guinea
  • Niger
  • DIAGNOSIS
  • IMPACT
  • TB

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