Pulmonary tuberculosis in prisons of the ex-USSR state Georgia: results of a nation-wide prevalence survey among sentenced inmates
OBJECTIVES: To measure the prevalence of active pulmonary tuberculosis and drug-resistant disease among prisoners. To identify factors associated with active tuberculosis and multidrug resistance (MDR).
DESIGN: A comprehensive multiphasic screening survey for tuberculosis.
RESULTS: The prevalence of smear- or culture-positive tuberculosis was 5995 per 100000 prisoners (n = 448 cases among 7473 inmates). Of all the strains, 215 (77.9%) were resistant to at least one drug and 37 (13.0%) were MDR. Independent risk markers associated with smear- or culture-positive tuberculosis included prison stay of 2 years or more, body mass index <20 kg/m2, accommodation in a large size prison, previous anti-tuberculosis treatment, cough of 2 weeks or more and loss of appetite. Risk markers associated with MDR were a prison stay of less than 2 years and being over 25 years of age.
CONCLUSIONS: In Georgia, the excess risk for tuberculosis among prisoners is unprecedented, suggesting that prisons represent a significant reservoir of tuberculosis. Only a comprehensive strategy for tuberculosis control in prisons, including prison reform, control of anti-tuberculosis drugs, and prompt and efficient diagnosis and treatment of patients can have an impact on the tuberculosis burden in the prison system.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Health Services Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva, Switzerland 2: Tuberculosis Control Programme, ICRC, Georgia 3: National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory, National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Ministry of Health, Georgia 4: Health Services of the Execution of Sentences Department, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Georgia 5: Unit of Mycobacteriology, Department of Microbiology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium 6: Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Switzerland
Publication date: 01 December 2000
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