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Free Content Predictive factors for latent tuberculosis infection among adolescents in a high-burden area in South Africa

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SETTING: A high tuberculosis (TB) burden area in South Africa (notification rate for all TB cases 1400 per 100 000 population).

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of and predictive factors associated with latent TB infection in adolescents.

DESIGN: Adolescents aged 12–18 years were recruited from high schools, clinical and demographic data were collected, and a tuberculin skin test (TST) and a QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT) assay performed.

RESULTS: A total of 6363 (58.2%) of 10 942 adolescents at the schools were enrolled. After exclusions, of 5244 participants, 55.2% (95%CI 53.8–56.5) had TST ≥ 5 mm, while 50.9% (49.5–52.2) were QFT-positive. On multivariate analysis, Black/mixed race racial groups, male sex, older age, household TB contact, low income and low education level were predictive factors for both TST- and QFT-positive results.

CONCLUSION: About half of the adolescents were found to be latently infected with TB in a high TB burden area with demographic and poverty-related socio-economic factors predicting the risk of TB infection. Adolescents from deprived communities should be considered an important target group for educational interventions by TB control programmes in high-burden settings.
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Keywords: IGRA; TST; adolescence; predictive factors; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Aeras Global Tuberculosis Vaccine Foundation, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 2: KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands; and Centre for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 3: Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization Inc, Rockville, Maryland, USA 4: School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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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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