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Author Notes:

Yared Merid, Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Jimma Road, P O Box 1005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. yaredmerid@yahoo.com; meridyared@gmail.com.

The authors thank Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region Health Bureau; REACH Ethiopia; the Hawassa prison administration (Hawassa, Ethiopia); clinic staff and study participants; Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) TB laboratory staff for their invaluable help to the success of the work; and M Yimer (AHRI) for her assistance.

Authors declared no conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

The study was funded in part from the core AHRI budget (NORAD and SIDA grants); the Addis Ababa University (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty International Center Global Infectious Disease (Bethesda, MD, USA) grant D43TW009127.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Respiratory System
  • active TB case finding
  • prison
  • Xpert MTB/RIF

High utility of active tuberculosis case finding in an Ethiopian prison


Journal Title:

International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease


Volume 22, Number 5


, Pages 524-+

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


S E T T I N G: Hawassa Prison, Southern Region of Ethiopia. O B J E C T I V E: To determine the burden of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) using active case finding among prisoners. D E S I G N: In this cross-sectional study, prisoners were screened for TB using a symptom screen. Those with cough of 72 weeks had spot and morning sputum samples collected for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear microscopy and molecular diagnostic testing (Xpert w MTB/RIF). R E S U LT S: Among 2068 prisoners, 372 (18%) had a positive cough screen. The median age of these 372 persons was 23 years, 97% were male and 63% were from urban areas. Among those with a positive symptom screen, 8 (2%) were AFB sputum smear-positive and 31 (8%) were Xpert-positive. The point prevalence of pulmonary TB at the prison was 1748 per 100 000 persons. In multivariate analysis, persons with cough .4 weeks were more likely to have TB (OR 3.34, 95%CI 1.54-7.23). C O N C L U S I O N: A high prevalence of TB was detected among inmates at a large Ethiopian prison. Active case finding using a cough symptom screen in combination with Xpert had high utility, and has the potential to interrupt transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in correctional facilities in low- and middle-income, high-burden countries.

Copyright information:

© 2018 The Union.

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