Impact of community-wide tuberculosis active case finding and human immunodeficiency virus testing on tuberculosis trends in Malawi

Rachael m Burke, Marriott Nliwasa, Peter j Dodd, Helena r a Feasey, Mcewen Khundi, Augustine Choko, Rebecca Nzawa-Soko, James Mpunga, Emily l Webb, Katherine Fielding, Peter Macpherson, Elizabeth l Corbett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Tuberculosis case-finding interventions are critical to meeting World Health Organization End TB strategy goals. We investigated the impact of community-wide tuberculosis active case finding (ACF) alongside scale-up of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and care on trends in adult tuberculosis case notification rates (CNRs) in Blantyre, Malawi.

Methods
Five rounds of ACF for tuberculosis (1–2 weeks of leafleting, door-to-door enquiry for cough and sputum microscopy) were delivered to neighborhoods (“ACF areas”) in North-West Blantyre between April 2011 and August 2014. Many of these neighborhoods also had concurrent HIV testing interventions. The remaining neighborhoods in Blantyre City (“non-ACF areas”) provided a non-randomized comparator. We analyzed TB CNRs from January 2009 until December 2018. We used interrupted time series analysis to compare tuberculosis CNRs before ACF and after ACF, and between ACF and non-ACF areas.

Results
Tuberculosis CNRs increased in Blantyre concurrently with start of ACF for tuberculosis in both ACF and non-ACF areas, with a larger magnitude in ACF areas. Compared to a counterfactual where pre-ACF CNR trends continued during ACF period, we estimated there were an additional 101 (95% confidence interval [CI] 42 to 160) microbiologically confirmed (Bac+) tuberculosis diagnoses per 100 000 person-years in the ACF areas in 3 and a half years of ACF. Compared to a counterfactual where trends in ACF area were the same as trends in non-ACF areas, we estimated an additional 63 (95% CI 38 to 90) Bac + diagnoses per 100 000 person-years in the same period.

Conclusions
Tuberculosis ACF was associated with a rapid increase in people diagnosed with tuberculosis in Blantyre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2023

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