Prevalence of Pulmonary Tuberculosis among Adults in a North Indian District

Citation: Aggarwal AN, Gupta D, Agarwal R, Sethi S, Thakur JS, et al. (2015) Prevalence of Pulmonary Tuberculosis among Adults in a North Indian District. PLoS ONE 10(2): e0117363. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117363
Published: February 19, 2015

Background: Recent population prevalence estimates of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) are not available for several areas in India. We conducted a field-based population survey at a north Indian district to estimate point prevalence of bacteriologically positive PTB.
Methods: A stratified cluster sampling design was used to conduct the survey in both urban and rural areas within the district. All adults aged more than 15 years, in 18 rural and 12 urban clusters of 3000 subjects each, were interviewed using a symptom card. Two sputum samples were collected from all persons having symptoms suggestive of PTB, or history of antitubercular treatment, for smear microscopy for acid-fast bacilli and mycobacterial culture. Those having at least one sputum specimen positive on microscopy and/or culture were categorized as having PTB. Prevalence was estimated after adjusting for cluster sampling and incomplete data (through individual level analysis with robust standard error).
Results: Of 91,030 eligible adult participants (47,714 men and 43,316 women), 85,770 (94.2%) completed the symptom cards. Of them, 2,898 persons were considered eligible for sputum examination and 2,839 (98.0%) provided at least one sample. Overall, 21 persons had bacteriologically positive PTB, and cluster level prevalence was estimated at 24.5 per 100,000 population (95% CI 12.8–36.2). Individual level analysis with robust standard error yielded a prevalence estimate of 24.1 per 100,000 populations (95% CI 12.8–35.4).
Conclusion: The observed prevalence of bacteriologically positive PTB in this district is lower than empiric national estimates, probably as a result of successful implementation of tuberculosis control measures in the area.


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