Screening for tuberculosis in pregnancy: do we need more than a symptom screen? Experience from western Kenya

R J. Kosgei, D Szkwarko, S Callens, P Gichangi, Marleen Temmerman, A-B Kihara, J J. Sitienei, E J. Cheserem, P M. Ndavi, A J. Reid, E J. Carter

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Objectives: 1) To explore the utility of tuberculosis (TB) symptom screening for symptoms of ⩾2 weeks’ duration in a routine setting, and 2) to compare differences in TB diagnosis between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected and non-HIV-infected pregnant women in western Kenya.

Design: Comparative cross-sectional study among pregnant women with known HIV status screened for TB from 2010 to 2012, in Eldoret, western Kenya.

Results: Of 2983 participants, respectively 34 (1%), 1488 (50.5%) and 1461 (49.5%) had unknown, positive and negative HIV status. The median age was respectively 30 years (interquartile range [IQR] 26–35) and 26 years (IQR 24–31) in HIV-infected and non-infected participants. A positive symptom screen was found in respectively 8% (119/1488) and 5% (67/1461) of the HIV-infected and non-infected women. The median CD4 count at enrolment was 377 cells/μl (IQR 244–530) for HIV-infected women. One non-HIV-infected patient was sputump ositive. For HIV-infected women, TB was presumptively treated in 1% (16/1488) based on clinical symptoms and chest X-ray. Cumulatively, anti-tuberculosis treatment was offered to 0.6% (17/2949) of the participants.

Conclusion: This study does not seem to demonstrate the utility of TB symptom screening questionnaires in a routine setting among pregnant women, either HIV-infected or non-infected, in western Kenya.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalObstetrics and Gynaecology, East Africa
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

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