Increased detection of pulmonary tuberculosis amongst hospitalised inpatients during the COVID-19 pandemic
Liang En Wee, Kenneth Choon Meng Goh, Edwin Philip Conceicao, Jamie Bee Xian Tan, Li-Hwei Sng, Indumathi Venkatachalam
European Respiratory Journal 2021 57: 2100616; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00616-2021
We read with interest the article by Nikolayevskyy et al.  reporting significant disruption to clinical tuberculosis (TB) services during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Reductions in TB diagnoses during the pandemic have been reported worldwide [1â€“4]. These findings have been attributed to a reduction in admissions due to lockdown, the spillover effect of public health measures against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on other respiratory infectious diseases, and diversion of resources towards the COVID-19 response [1â€“4]. During the pandemic, healthcare systems grappling with a surge in COVID-19 cases encountered sustained disruptions to TB services , potentially delaying diagnosis. Delayed detection of TB amongst hospitalised patients increases risk of nosocomial transmission . In centres that were not overwhelmed, however, increased vigilance for respiratory symptoms may potentially translate into increased detection of active pulmonary tuberculosis (pTB) amongst hospitalised patients.
This study shows an increase in the rate of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) detected amongst hospitalisations during the COVID-19 pandemic, while detection of extrapulmonary TB remained unchanged; due to improved surveillance and chest imaging utilisation https://bit.ly/3fhVaMG
Author contributions: Concept and design: L.E. Wee; analysis of data: L.E. Wee and E.P. Conceicao; drafting of manuscript: L.E. Wee, K.C.M. Goh, J.B.X. Tan, L-H. Sng and I. Venkatachalam; supervision: I. Venkatachalam and L-H. Sng.
Conflict of interest: L.E. Wee has nothing to disclose.
Conflict of interest: K.C.M. Goh has nothing to disclose.
Conflict of interest: E.P. Conceicao has nothing to disclose.
Conflict of interest: J.B.X. Tan has nothing to disclose.
Conflict of interest: L-H. Sng has nothing to disclose.
Conflict of interest: I. Venkatachalam has nothing to disclose.
- Received March 1, 2021.
- Accepted March 18, 2021.
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