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1.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S40-S42, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574760

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 10 million people develop tuberculosis (TB) every year, with 1.5 million deaths attributed to TB in 2019 (World Health Organization, 2020). The majority of the disease burden occurs in low-income countries, where access to diagnostics and tailored treatment remains problematic. The current COVID-19 pandemic further threatens to impact global TB control by diverting resources, reducing notifications and hence significantly increasing deaths attributable to TB (World Health Organization, 2020). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is becoming increasingly accessible, and has particular value in the diagnosis and management of TB disease (Cabibbe et al., 2018; Meehan et al., 2019). Not only does it have the potential to give more rapid and complete information on drug-resistance, but the high discriminatory power it offers allows detection of clusters and transmission pathways, as well as likely contamination events, mixed infections and to differentiate between re-infection and relapse with much greater confidence than previous typing methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Humans , Mycobacterium tuberculosis/genetics , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Whole Genome Sequencing
2.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S96-S99, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575764

ABSTRACT

The WHO 2020 global TB Report estimates that in 2019 there were an estimated 500,000 cases of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) of which only 186,772 MDR-TB cases were diagnosed, and positive treatment outcomes were achieved in 57% of them. These data highlight the need for accelerating and improving MDR-TB screening, diagnostic, treatment and patient follow-up services. The last decade has seen three new TB drugs being licensed; bedaquiline, delamanid and pretomanid, and combinations these new, existing and repurposed drugs are leading to improved cure rates. The all oral six month WHO regimen for MDR-TB is more tolerable, has higher treatment success rates and lower mortality. However, the unprecedented ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is having major direct and indirect negative impacts on health services overall, including national TB programs and TB services. This adds further to longstanding challenges for tackling MDR-TB such as cost, rollout of diagnostics and drugs, and implementation of latest WHO guidelines for MDR-TB. In light of COVID-19 disruption of TB services, it is anticipated the numbers of MDR-TB cases will rise in 2021 and 2022 and will affect treatment outcomes further. Investing more in development of new TB drugs and shorter MDR-TB treatment regimens is required in anticipation of emerging drug resistance to new TB drug regimens. There is an urgent need for protecting current investments in TB services, sustaining gains being made in TB control and accelerating roll out of TB diagnostic and treatment services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant , Clinical Protocols , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant/diagnosis , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant/drug therapy , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant/epidemiology
3.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S16-S21, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575135

ABSTRACT

In this perspective, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on tuberculosis (TB)/HIV health services and approaches to mitigating the growing burden of these three colliding epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). SSA countries bear significantly high proportions of TB and HIV cases reported worldwide, compared to countries in the West. Whilst COVID-19 epidemiology appears to vary across Africa, most countries in this region have reported relatively lower-case counts compared to the West. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has added an additional burden to already overstretched health systems in SSA, which, among other things, have been focused on the longstanding dual epidemics of TB and HIV. As with these dual epidemics, inadequate resources and poor case identification and reporting may be contributing to underestimations of the COVID-19 case burden in SSA. Modelling studies predict that the pandemic-related disruptions in TB and HIV services will result in significant increases in associated morbidity and mortality over the next five years. Furthermore, limited empirical evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 coinfections with TB and HIV are associated with increased mortality risk in SSA. However, predictive models require a better evidence-base to accurately define the impact of COVID-19, not only on communicable diseases such as TB and HIV, but on non-communicable disease comorbidities. Further research is needed to assess morbidity and mortality data among both adults and children across the African continent, paying attention to geographic disparities, as well as the clinical and socio-economic determinants of COVID-19 in the setting of TB and/or HIV.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Tuberculosis , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Child , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/epidemiology
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e2005-e2015, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455254

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Risk factors for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) death in sub-Saharan Africa and the effects of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis on COVID-19 outcomes are unknown. METHODS: We conducted a population cohort study using linked data from adults attending public-sector health facilities in the Western Cape, South Africa. We used Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for age, sex, location, and comorbidities, to examine the associations between HIV, tuberculosis, and COVID-19 death from 1 March to 9 June 2020 among (1) public-sector "active patients" (≥1 visit in the 3 years before March 2020); (2) laboratory-diagnosed COVID-19 cases; and (3) hospitalized COVID-19 cases. We calculated the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for COVID-19, comparing adults living with and without HIV using modeled population estimates. RESULTS: Among 3 460 932 patients (16% living with HIV), 22 308 were diagnosed with COVID-19, of whom 625 died. COVID-19 death was associated with male sex, increasing age, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. HIV was associated with COVID-19 mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.14; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.70-2.70), with similar risks across strata of viral loads and immunosuppression. Current and previous diagnoses of tuberculosis were associated with COVID-19 death (aHR, 2.70 [95% CI, 1.81-4.04] and 1.51 [95% CI, 1.18-1.93], respectively). The SMR for COVID-19 death associated with HIV was 2.39 (95% CI, 1.96-2.86); population attributable fraction 8.5% (95% CI, 6.1-11.1). CONCLUSIONS: While our findings may overestimate HIV- and tuberculosis-associated COVID-19 mortality risks due to residual confounding, both living with HIV and having current tuberculosis were independently associated with increased COVID-19 mortality. The associations between age, sex, and other comorbidities and COVID-19 mortality were similar to those in other settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Adult , Cohort Studies , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Proportional Hazards Models , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(3): 542-544, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338667

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may impede global tuberculosis elimination goals. In Jiangsu Province, China, tuberculosis notifications dropped 52% in 2020 compared to 2015-2019. Treatment completion and screening for drug resistance decreased continuously in 2020. Urgent attention must be paid to tuberculosis control efforts during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis , China/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/epidemiology
6.
Euro Surveill ; 26(24)2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278341

ABSTRACT

We assessed the impact of COVID-19 on diagnostic services for tuberculosis (TB) by national reference laboratories in the WHO European Region. Of 35 laboratories, 30 reported declines in TB sample numbers, amounting up to > 50% of the pre-COVID-19 volumes. Sixteen reported reagent or consumable shortages. Nineteen reallocated ressources to SARS-CoV-2 testing, resulting in an overall increase in workload, largely without a concomitant increase in personnel (n = 14). This poses a risk to meeting the 2025 milestones of the End TB Strategy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Laboratories , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , World Health Organization
7.
Am J Pathol ; 191(7): 1255-1268, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275092

ABSTRACT

We postulate that similar to bacteria, adult stem cells may also exhibit an altruistic defense mechanism to protect their niche against external threat. Herein, we report mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based altruistic defense against a mouse model of coronavirus, murine hepatitis virus-1 (MHV-1) infection of lung. MHV-1 infection led to reprogramming of CD271+ MSCs in the lung to an enhanced stemness phenotype that exhibits altruistic behavior, as per previous work in human embryonic stem cells. The reprogrammed MSCs exhibited transient expansion for 2 weeks, followed by apoptosis and expression of stemness genes. The conditioned media of the reprogrammed MSCs exhibited direct antiviral activity in an in vitro model of MHV-1-induced toxicity to type II alveolar epithelial cells by increasing their survival/proliferation and decreasing viral load. Thus, the reprogrammed MSCs can be identified as altruistic stem cells (ASCs), which exert a unique altruistic defense against MHV-1. In a mouse model of MSC-mediated Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) dormancy, MHV-1 infection in the lung exhibited 20-fold lower viral loads than the MTB-free control mice on the third week of viral infection, and exhibited six-fold increase of ASCs, thereby enhancing the altruistic defense. Notably, these ASCs exhibited intracellular replication of MTB, and their extracellular release. Animals showed tuberculosis reactivation, suggesting that dormant MTB may exploit ASCs for disease reactivation.


Subject(s)
Lung/virology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/virology , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Mice , Murine hepatitis virus
8.
Front Public Health ; 9: 644536, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259404

ABSTRACT

Background: To contain the pandemic of COVID-19, China has implemented a series of public health interventions that impacted the tuberculosis control substantially, but these impacts may vary greatly depending on the severity of the local COVID-19 epidemic. The impact of COVID-19 on TB control in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is little known. Methods: Based on the national TB Information Management System (TBIMS), this study accessed the actual impact of COVID-19 on TB by comparing TB notifications, pre-treatment delays, and clinical characteristics of TB cases between 2020 COVID-19 period and 2017-2019 baseline. The data were divided into three periods based on the response started to fight against COVID-19 in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, including the control period (10 weeks before the pandemic), intensive period (10 weeks during the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region lockdown), and regular (10 additional weeks after Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region reopen). Results: TB notification dropped sharply in the first week of the intensive period but took significantly longer to return to the previous level in 2020 compared with the 2017-2019 baseline. Totally, the TB notification rates decreased by more than 60% in the intensive period of COVID-19 compared with the average level of 2017-2019. The sputum smear-positive rate of TB patients diagnosed in intensive period of COVID-19 was significantly higher than that in the corresponding periods of 2017-2019 (P < 0.001). The rate of cavity on X-ray inspection of TB cases diagnosed in the intensive period of COVID-19 was significantly higher than that in period 2 of 2017-2019 (23.5 vs. 15.4%, P = 0.004). The patients' delay in the intensive period was significantly longer than that before the pandemic (P = 0.047). Conclusions: The TB notification in Ningxia was impacted dramatically by the pandemic of COVID-19. To compensate for the large numbers of missed diagnosis as well as delayed diagnosis during the intensive period of COVID-19, an urgent restoration of normal TB services, and further emphasis on enhanced active case finding and scale-up of household contact tracing and screening for TB-related symptoms or manifestation, will be essential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis , China/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment , Tuberculosis/diagnosis
10.
Pan Afr Med J ; 38: 243, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1257120

ABSTRACT

The first COVID-19 case was reported in Ethiopia on 13th March 2020 and series of announcements of set of measures, proclamation and directives have been enacted to fight the coronavirus pandemic. These have implications for the regular health services including the TB control program. This brief communication assesses the impact of the COVID-19 response on the TB control activities of Addis Ababa health centers based on research project data. We compared the patient flows in pre-COVID-19 period (quarter 1, Q1) and during COVID-19 (quarter 2, Q2 and quarter 3, Q3) of 2020 at 56 health centers in Addis Ababa from all 10 sub-cities per sub-city. The patient flow declined from 3,473 in Q1 to 1,062 in Q2 and 1,074 in Q3, which is a decrease by 62-76% and 52-80% in Q2 and Q3 respectively as compared to that of Q1. In Q2, Kolfe keranio and Kirkos sub-cities recorded the biggest decline (76 and 75% respectively) whereas Yeka sub-city had the least decline (62%). In Q3, Kirkos sub-city had the biggest decline (80%) and Addis ketema sub-city had the lowest (52%). We conclude that the series of measures, state of emergency proclamation and government directives issued to counter the spread of COVID-19 and the public response to these significantly affected the TB control activities in Addis Ababa city as attested by the decrease in the patient flow at the clinics. Health authorities may inform the public that essential health services are still available and open to everyone in need of these services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Ethiopia , Humans
11.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 10(1)2020 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222049

ABSTRACT

Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is a global burden, responsible for over 1 million deaths annually. The emergence and spread of drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains (MDR-, XDR- and TDR-TB) is the main challenge in global TB-control, requiring the development of novel drugs acting on new biotargets, thus able to overcome the drug-resistance. Tryptanthrin is a natural alkaloid, with great therapeutic potential due to its simple way of synthesis and wide spectrum of biological activities including high bactericidal activity on both drug-susceptible and MDR M. tuberculosis strains. InhA was suggested as the target of tryptanthrins by in silico modeling, making it a promising alternative to isoniazid, able to overcome drug resistance provided by katG mutations. However, neither the mechanism of action of tryptanthrin nor the mechanism of resistance to tryptanthrins was ever confirmed in vitro. We show that the MmpS5-MmpL5 efflux system is able to provide resistance to tryptanthrins using an in-house test-system. Comparative genomic analysis of spontaneous tryptanthrin-resistant M. smegmatis mutants showed that mutations in MSMEG_1963 (EmbR transcriptional regulator) lead to a high-level resistance, while those in MSMEG_5597 (TetR transcriptional regulator) to a low-level one. Mutations in an MFS transporter gene (MSMEG_4427) were also observed, which might be involved in providing a basal level of tryptanthrins-resistance.

12.
Immunol Rev ; 301(1): 98-121, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218116

ABSTRACT

BCG turns 100 this year and while it might not be the perfect vaccine, it has certainly contributed significantly towards eradication and prevention of spread of tuberculosis (TB). The search for newer and better vaccines for TB is an ongoing endeavor and latest results from trials of candidate TB vaccines such as M72AS01 look promising. However, recent encouraging data from BCG revaccination trials in adults combined with studies on mucosal and intravenous routes of BCG vaccination in non-human primate models have renewed interest in BCG for TB prevention. In addition, several well-demonstrated non-specific effects of BCG, for example, prevention of viral and respiratory infections, give BCG an added advantage. Also, BCG vaccination is currently being widely tested in human clinical trials to determine whether it protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or death with detailed analyses and outcomes from several ongoing trials across the world awaited. Through this review, we attempt to bring together information on various aspects of the BCG-induced immune response, its efficacy in TB control, comparison with other candidate TB vaccines and strategies to improve its efficiency including revaccination and alternate routes of administration. Finally, we discuss the future relevance of BCG use especially in light of its several heterologous benefits.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine/immunology , Mycobacterium tuberculosis/immunology , Tuberculosis/immunology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Vaccination , Adaptive Immunity , BCG Vaccine/administration & dosage , Humans , Immunity, Heterologous , Immunity, Innate , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunologic Memory
13.
Nutrients ; 13(5)2021 Apr 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217109

ABSTRACT

Vitamin D, sunshine and UVB phototherapy were first reported in the early 1900s to control psoriasis, cure rickets and cure tuberculosis (TB). Vitamin D also controlled asthma and rheumatoid arthritis with intakes ranging from 60,000 to 600,000 International Units (IU)/day. In the 1980s, interest in treating psoriasis with vitamin D rekindled. Since 1985 four different oral forms of vitamin D (D2, D3, 1-hydroxyvitaminD3 (1(OH)D3) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitaminD3 (calcitriol)) and several topical formulations have been reported safe and effective treatments for psoriasis-as has UVB phototherapy and sunshine. In this review we show that many pre-treatment serum 25(OH)D concentrations fall within the current range of normal, while many post-treatment concentrations fall outside the upper limit of this normal (100 ng/mL). Yet, psoriasis patients showed significant clinical improvement without complications using these treatments. Current estimates of vitamin D sufficiency appear to underestimate serum 25(OH)D concentrations required for optimal health in psoriasis patients, while concentrations associated with adverse events appear to be much higher than current estimates of safe serum 25(OH)D concentrations. Based on these observations, the therapeutic index for vitamin D needs to be reexamined in the treatment of psoriasis and other diseases strongly linked to vitamin D deficiency, including COVID-19 infections, which may also improve safely with sufficient vitamin D intake or UVB exposure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psoriasis , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sunlight , Ultraviolet Therapy , Vitamin D/analogs & derivatives , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Psoriasis/blood , Psoriasis/therapy , Vitamin D/blood , Vitamin D/therapeutic use
14.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249822, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195942

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to analyze the discourses of patients who were diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, the perception of why they acquired this health condition and barriers to seeking care in a priority city in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was an exploratory qualitative study, which used the theoretical-methodological framework of the Discourse Analysis of French matrix, guided by the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research. The study was conducted in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. Seven participants were interviewed who were undergoing treatment at the time of the interview. The analysis of the participants' discourses allowed the emergence of four discursive blocks: (1) impact of the social determinants in the development of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, (2) barriers to seeking care and difficulties accessing health services, (3) perceptions of the side effects and their impact on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment, and (4) tuberculosis and COVID-19: a necessary dialogue. Through discursive formations, these revealed the determinants of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Considering the complexity involved in the dynamics of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, advancing in terms of equity in health, that is, in reducing unjust differences, is a challenge for public policies, especially at the current moment in Brazil, which is of accentuated economic, political and social crisis. The importance of psychosocial stressors and the lack of social support should also be highlighted as intermediary determinants of health. The study has also shown the situation of COVID-19, which consists of an important barrier for patients seeking care. Many patients reported fear, insecurity and worry with regard to returning to medical appointments, which might contribute to the worsening of tuberculosis in the scenario under study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant , Adult , Aged , Brazil/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant/epidemiology , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant/therapy , Young Adult
15.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S88-S90, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141901

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: All countries impacted by COVID-19 have had to change routine health service delivery. Although this has reversed some of the progress made in reducing the global burden of tuberculosis (TB) disease, there is an opportunity to incorporate lessons learned to improve TB programmes going forward. APPROACH: We use Pakistan as a case study to discuss three important adaptations in light of COVID-19: bringing care closer to patients; strengthening primary health care systems; and proactively addressing stigma and fear. FINDINGS: COVID-19 control in Pakistan has restricted people's ability to travel and this has forced the TB programme to reduce the need for in-person health facility visits and bring care closer to patients' homes. Strategies that may be useful for providing more convenient care to patients in the future include: : remote treatment support using telemedicine; collaborating with private healthcare providers; and establishing community medicine collection points. As part of the response to COVID-19 in Pakistan, the out-patient departments of major tertiary and secondary care hospitals were closed, and this highlighted the importance of strengthening primary healthcare for both better pandemic and TB control. Finally, stigma associated with COVID-19 and TB can be addressed using trusted community-based health workers, such as Lady Health Workers in Pakistan.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis , Community Health Workers , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control
16.
Indian J Tuberc ; 67(4S): S16-S22, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125266

ABSTRACT

National tuberculosis programmes (NTPs) should aim for achieving a very high proportion of cure of all tuberculosis (TB) cases. Ineffective chemotherapy of TB that keeps a substantial proportion of patients alive without cure may amplify resistance during treatment and promote transmission of TB. In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that in patients who require TB retreatment, the retreatment regimen that comprised 8 months of isoniazid, rifampicin and ethambutol supplemented by streptomycin for the initial 2 months, and pyrazinamide for the initial 3 months (2SHRZE/HRZE/5HRE) should no longer be prescribed and drug susceptibility testing (DST) should be conducted to inform the choice of treatment regimen. While GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay may detect rifampicin resistance, it does not detect isoniazid resistance. A 6-month regimen consisting of rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide and ethambutol may be used for the treatment of previously treated cases in whom rifampicin resistance has been excluded but DST of isoniazid is not available. WHO recommended to treat isoniazid-resistant, rifampicin-susceptible TB (Hr-TB) with rifampicin, ethambutol, pyrazinamide and levofloxacin for a duration of 6 months. In several low- and middle-income countries, the majority of Hr-TB cases are detected after the initiation of treatment with first-line regimens. If patients have an unsatisfactory response to first-line treatment with persistent positive sputum, modification of regimens needs to be done very carefully. Adding a fluoroquinolone in cases with undetected rifampicin resistance runs the risk of acquired fluoroquinolone resistance. Recently, WHO advises NTPs to phase out the injectable-containing short regimen for multidrug-resistant and rifampicin-resistant TB (MDR-/RR-TB) and recommends that the preferred treatment option is a shorter, all-oral, bedaquiline-containing regimen. WHO emphasizes that access to rapid DST, especially for ruling out fluoroquinolone resistance, is required before starting the bedaquiline-containing shorter regimen. The problem is that access to rapid DST for ruling out fluoroquinolone resistance is limited in low- and middle-income countries. The use of WHO-recommended bedaquiline-containing regimens in the treatment of MDR-/RR-TB patients with undetected resistance to fluoroquinolones runs a high risk of acquired bedaquiline resistance, especially in settings with a high prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistance. It is crucial to mitigate the risks of both primary and acquired resistance of rifampicin, fluoroquinolone and bedaquiline by rational design of regimens and effective management of TB patients.


Subject(s)
Antitubercular Agents/therapeutic use , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant/drug therapy , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/drug therapy , Developing Countries , Humans
17.
Indian J Tuberc ; 67(4S): S139-S146, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125179

ABSTRACT

India has the highest burden of incident tuberculosis (TB) cases and deaths globally. TB is strongly associated with poverty and this risk is largely mediated by undernutrition in India. COVID-19 response related lockdown has resulted in an economic crisis which may double levels of poverty, has exacerbated food insecurity, and disrupted TB services. These developments may have serious implications for TB progression and transmission in India. The nutritional status of a population is a strong determinant of the TB incidence, and undernutrition in adults alone accounts for 32-44% of TB incidence in India. A systematic review has shown that a 14% increase in TB incidence can occur per one unit decrease in body mass index (BMI), across the BMI range of 18.5-30 kg/m2. We believe that one unit decrease in BMI (corresponding to a 2-3 kg weight loss) may result in the poor in India as a result of the lockdown and its aftermath. This may result in an increase in estimated (uncertainty interval) incident TB by 185 610 (180 230, 190 990) cases. A 59% reduction in TB case detection between end March and May 2020, may result in an estimated (uncertainty interval) additional 87 711 (59 998, 120 630) TB deaths [19.5% increase (14.5, 24.7)] in 2020. Disadvantaged social groups and those living in states with higher levels of poverty, under-nutrition,and migrant workers are at particular risk. We suggest enhanced rations including pulses through the public distribution system and direct cash transfers to the poor pending restoration of livelihoods. TB services should be resumed immediately with enhanced efforts at case detection including active case finding. To prevent deaths among TB detected within the national TB programme, systemic identification, referral and management of severe disease at notification should be considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Health Services Accessibility , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Incidence , India/epidemiology , Nutritional Status , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Tuberculosis/therapy
18.
Indian J Tuberc ; 67(4S): S23-S32, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125031

ABSTRACT

Despite considerable progress over the years, tuberculosis (TB) still remains the top cause of death among the infectious diseases and has devastating socio-economic consequences for people in low- and middle-income countries. To add to this, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened delivery of TB care across the globe. As a global community, we have committed to end the TB epidemic by 2030. The World Health Organization has framed a strategy to achieve this goal which consists of three pillars namely i) integrated patient-centred care and prevention, ii) bold policies and systems and iii) intensified research and innovation. An analysis of the performance of national tuberculosis programmes (NTPs) across the globe against the ten priority indicators recommended for monitoring the end TB strategy show that there are huge gaps at every step in the cascade of care of TB patients. In our view, these gaps reflect suboptimal implementation of existing strategies known to be efficacious and operational research (OR) is one of the best available tools to plug the gaps. In this paper, we define what operational research is and how it differs from other kinds of research. We also share our views and experiences about how operational research can be used by NTPs to identify implementation gaps and their reasons, and develop and test possible solutions - which are then integrated to make changes to policy and practice and eventually improve programme outcomes. OR can be defined as research into interventions, strategies and tools which produces practical useable knowledge that can be used to enhance the quality, coverage, effectiveness and efficiency of disease control programmes, health services or health systems in which the research is conducted. The key steps in integrating operational research in the NTPs include: i) securing political commitment reflected by inclusion of OR in the national strategic plans of NTPs and earmarked funding, ii) having a critical mass of dedicated and trained human resources in OR within the NTP, iii) setting research priorities and steering the direction of research in the country, iv) using output-oriented models of capacity building such as the Structured Operational Research Training Initiative (SORT IT) model and building communities of practice, v) harnessing existing capacity in the country by forging partnerships with academia, vi) NTP-led nationwide, multicentre OR studies, vii) providing access to anonymized patient and programme surveillance data, vii) creating a forum for evidence dissemination and fostering policy change and ix) monitoring and accountability. In conclusion, ending the TB epidemic will not be possible without new tools (diagnostics, drugs, vaccines) and a multi-sectoral response involving stakeholders beyond the health ministry, including private providers, patients and communities. However, timely conduct of operational research to fine-tune programme implementation and ensuring proper deployment of new tools will be equally crucial to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions and ultimately contribute towards ending TB.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Developing Countries , Operations Research , Patient-Centered Care/organization & administration , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
19.
EClinicalMedicine ; 28: 100603, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065026

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Routine services for tuberculosis (TB) are being disrupted by stringent lockdowns against the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. We sought to estimate the potential long-term epidemiological impact of such disruptions on TB burden in high-burden countries, and how this negative impact could be mitigated. METHODS: We adapted mathematical models of TB transmission in three high-burden countries (India, Kenya and Ukraine) to incorporate lockdown-associated disruptions in the TB care cascade. The anticipated level of disruption reflected consensus from a rapid expert consultation. We modelled the impact of these disruptions on TB incidence and mortality over the next five years, and also considered potential interventions to curtail this impact. FINDINGS: Even temporary disruptions can cause long-term increases in TB incidence and mortality. If lockdown-related disruptions cause a temporary 50% reduction in TB transmission, we estimated that a 3-month suspension of TB services, followed by 10 months to restore to normal, would cause, over the next 5 years, an additional 1⋅19 million TB cases (Crl 1⋅06-1⋅33) and 361,000 TB deaths (CrI 333-394 thousand) in India, 24,700 (16,100-44,700) TB cases and 12,500 deaths (8.8-17.8 thousand) in Kenya, and 4,350 (826-6,540) cases and 1,340 deaths (815-1,980) in Ukraine. The principal driver of these adverse impacts is the accumulation of undetected TB during a lockdown. We demonstrate how long term increases in TB burden could be averted in the short term through supplementary "catch-up" TB case detection and treatment, once restrictions are eased. INTERPRETATION: Lockdown-related disruptions can cause long-lasting increases in TB burden, but these negative effects can be mitigated with rapid restoration of TB services, and targeted interventions that are implemented as soon as restrictions are lifted. FUNDING: USAID and Stop TB Partnership.

20.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0244936, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060091

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The experiences of frontline healthcare professionals are essential in identifying strategies to mitigate the disruption to healthcare services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of TB and HIV professionals in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). Between May 12 and August 6, 2020, we collected qualitative and quantitative data using an online survey in 11 languages. We used descriptive statistics and thematic analysis to analyse responses. FINDINGS: 669 respondents from 64 countries completed the survey. Over 40% stated that it was either impossible or much harder for TB and HIV patients to reach healthcare facilities since COVID-19. The most common barriers reported to affect patients were: fear of getting infected with SARS-CoV-2, transport disruptions and movement restrictions. 37% and 28% of responses about TB and HIV stated that healthcare provider access to facilities was also severely impacted. Strategies to address reduced transport needs and costs-including proactive coordination between the health and transport sector and cards that facilitate lower cost or easier travel-were presented in qualitative responses. Access to non-medical support for patients, such as food supplementation or counselling, was severely disrupted according to 36% and 31% of HIV and TB respondents respectively; qualitative data suggested that the need for such services was exacerbated. CONCLUSION: Patients and healthcare providers across numerous LMIC faced substantial challenges in accessing healthcare facilities, and non-medical support for patients was particularly impacted. Synthesising recommendations of frontline professionals should be prioritised for informing policymakers and healthcare service delivery organisations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/therapy , Health Personnel , Health Services Accessibility , Tuberculosis/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Economic Factors , Humans , Poverty , Surveys and Questionnaires
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