A cluster of tuberculosis associated with use of a marijuana water pipe
OBJECTIVE: To report this cluster of TB and to investigate whether shared use of a marijuana water pipe was associated with transmission of TB.
DESIGN: All contacts were identified and screened according to standard protocols. Cases were asked to list contacts with whom they had shared a marijuana water pipe.
RESULTS: Five cases of open pulmonary TB were identified clinically and on sputum culture, and all isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were identical on typing. Of 149 contacts identified, 114 (77%) completed screening, and 57 (50%) had significant tuberculin skin test (TST) reactions on follow-up. Of 45 contacts who had shared a marijuana water pipe with a case, 29 (64%) had a significant TST reaction.
CONCLUSION: Sharing a marijuana water pipe with a case of pulmonary TB was associated with transmission of TB (OR 2.22, 95% CI 0.96–5.17), although the most important risk factor for acquiring TB infection in this cluster was close household contact with a case (OR 4.91, 95% CI 1.13–20.70).
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Infection Management Services, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland, Australia 2: Specialised Health Services (Queensland Tuberculosis Control Centre), Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 3: Queensland Government Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4: Queensland Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory, Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Publication date: 2003-09-01
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