Research

Tuberculosis burden in stage 5 chronic kidney disease patients undergoing dialysis therapy at Livingstone Hospital, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

S Ndamase, I Okpechi, H Carrara, J Black, G Calligaro, R Freercks

Abstract


Background. Tuberculosis (TB) is currently the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent worldwide. Patients who receive dialysis are particularly vulnerable to TB infection owing to immune dysfunction. Nonetheless, there is a paucity of incidence data on dialysis patients infected with TB in high-burden countries, such as South Africa (SA).

Objectives. To determine the incidence of TB in prevalent chronic kidney disease stage 5 (CKD-5D) patients on dialysis at a single centre in Eastern Cape Province, SA, and to identify the risk factors associated with TB infection.

Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all consenting CKD-5D patients between April 2010 and March 2014 at Livingstone Hospital Renal Unit, Port Elizabeth, the Eastern Cape. TB was defined as definite or probable according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, and the cohort was split into those who developed TB (TB+) and those who did not (TB−).

Results. One hundred and eleven patients were enrolled – predominantly black Africans (73%) and women (53%); the mean age (standard deviation (SD)) was 42 (9.8) years. The prevalence of HIV infection was 11%, all patients were receiving antiretroviral treatment and all had suppressed viral loads. Sixty-eight patients were on haemodialysis and 43 on peritoneal dialysis. Nineteen patients were diagnosed with 20 episodes of TB; 14 cases were pulmonary TB and 6 cases extrapulmonary TB. Of the patients with TB, 2 were HIV-infected, 7 (35%) were definite TB cases and 13 (65%) were probable cases. The calculated incidence rate was 4 505/100 000 patient years. Only informal housing (30% in TB+ v. 12% in TB−; p=0.042) and a history of hospitalisation (90% v. 76%, respectively; p=0.042) were significantly associated with a diagnosis of TB.

Conclusions. Dialysis patients in the Eastern Cape region of SA are at extremely high risk of acquiring TB, with an incidence rate 4.1 times that of the local population and >5 times that of the general SA population. Only informal housing and a history of hospitalisation were identified as positive risk factors for TB in this young population with a low HIV prevalence. Isoniazid prophylaxis in this high-risk group might be of benefit, but further studies are required to inform such treatment.


Authors' affiliations

S Ndamase, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

I Okpechi, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and Kidney and Hypertension Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

H Carrara, Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

J Black, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

G Calligaro, Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

R Freercks, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and Kidney and Hypertension Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Tuberculosis; Chronic kidney disease; Dialysis

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2020;110(5):422-426. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i5.14035

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-04-29
Date published: 2020-04-29

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