High yield from repeated testing for tuberculosis among high-risk citizens in Denmark

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  • Nina Breinholt Staerke
  • Torben Smidt-Hansen
  • ,
  • Leni Oldenborg, Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Allergy, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Torben Tranborg Jensen, Sydvestjysk Sygehus, Esbjerg
  • ,
  • Ulla Møller Weinreich, Aalborg Universitet
  • ,
  • Shakil Shakar, Aalborg Universitet
  • ,
  • Christian Wejse
  • Ole Hilberg, Hospital Lillebaelt, Syddansk Universitet
  • ,
  • Andreas Fløe

BACKGROUND: Screening for tuberculosis among socially marginalized citizens have been implemented in many urban areas in low-incidence countries including Denmark. This study aims to describe the findings of the screening programs for tuberculosis (TB) and latent tuberculosis (LTBI) used in the western part of Denmark in the period 2014-2019.

METHODS: Data was collected retrospectively on test results from interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA), sputum samples and chest X-rays performed as part of organized TB and LTBI screening among 1024 socially marginalized citizens in urban areas of western Denmark in 2014-2019.

RESULTS: The overall TB incidence was 2148/100.000 and number needed to screen to find one TB case was 39, while the incidence of LTBI in the group screened with IGRA was 17.500/100.000. Testing with spot sputum yielded a TB rate of 2.5% compared to 2.7% when IGRA was used and similar proportions of cases were smear-negative. In total, 38.9% of TB diagnoses were obtained from 2. or 3. round of repeated screening procedure.

CONCLUSION: We demonstrated a strikingly high incidence of TB and LTBI among socially marginalized citizens in Denmark. Results from screening with spot sputum assays and IGRAs are comparable in diagnosing TB in this screening setting.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Sider (fra-til)352-356
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2021

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