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Free Content Tuberculosis epidemiology in India: a review

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High prevalence and incidence of disease and a high rate of transmission of infection characterise the tuberculosis (TB) situation in India. Disease surveys conducted in different parts of the country since the 1950s have reported prevalences of smear-positive pulmonary TB (PTB) of 0.6–7.6 per 1000 population, culture-positive TB of 1.7–9.8 and culture and/or smear-positive TB of 1.8–12.7. The incidence of smear-positive PTB has been observed in the range of 1.0–1.6/1000 and that of culture-positive PTB 1.0–2.5/1000 in the limited number of studies carried out. The annual risk of tuberculous infection (ARTI) had been estimated at 1–2% for most of the tuberculin surveys carried out in different areas over different time periods. During a nationwide study in 2000–2003, the average ARTI in the country was estimated at 1.5%. An increasing trend has been observed in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity among TB cases, which has been found to vary between 0.4% and 28.8% in different studies conducted mostly at tertiary health care centres. The proportion of new cases with multidrug resistance (MDR) was relatively low, at 0.5–5.3%. However, the proportion of MDR cases among previously treated cases varied between 8% and 67%.
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Keywords: ARTI; HIV; epidemiology; incidence; infection; mortality; multidrug resistance; prevalence; tuberculosis

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: National Tuberculosis Institute, Bangalore, India

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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