BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) increases the risk of tuberculosis (TB) mainly through reactivation or following recent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (re)infection. Within a DNA fingerprint-defined cluster of TB cases, reactivation cases are assumed to be the source of infection for subsequent secondary cases. As HIV-positive TB cases are less likely to be source cases, equal or higher clustering in HIV-positives would suggest that HIV mainly increases the risk of TB following recent infection. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted to identify all studies on TB clustering and HIV infection in HIV-endemic populations. Available individual patient data from eligible studies were pooled to analyse the association between clustering and HIV. RESULTS: Of seven eligible studies, six contributed individual patient data on 2116 patients. Clustering was as, or more, likely in the HIV-positive population, both overall (summary OR 1.26, 95%CI 1.0-1.5), and within age groups (OR 1.50, 95%CI 0.9-2.3; OR 1.00, 95%CI 0.8-1.3 and OR 2.57, 95%CI 1.4-5.7) for ages 15-25, 26-50 and >50 years, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that HIV infection mainly increases the risk of TB following recent M. tuberculosis transmission, and that TB control measures in HIV-endemic settings should therefore focus on controlling M. tuberculosis transmission rather than treating individuals with latent M. tuberculosis infection.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2011|
- Molecular epidemiology
- Pooled data analysis
- Systematic review