Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Tuberculosis (TB) Coinfection
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and tuberculosis (TB) are two major infectious diseases causing serious public health problems. The main route of transmission of both these diseases are through respiratory droplets and they primarily target the lungs. Their coinfection; COVID-TB, can lead to worse outcomes among the coinfected patients. Both diseases have similar signs and symptoms such as cough, fever and difficulty breathing, however, TB has a longer incubation period with a slower onset of disease.1, 2, 3
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic had caused disruption of the tuberculosis control leading to an increase in the TB mortality rate, for the first time in more than a decade.4, 5 This means that patients are not receiving timely treatment and the transmission of the infection is continued as they have limited access to essential services due to the current situation.
TB is curable and preventable. About 85% of people who develop TB disease can be successfully treated and treatment has the additional benefit of curbing onward transmission of infection.4 Therefore, to reduce the prevalence of both these infectious diseases and the burden of coinfection, essential services should actively engage in ensuring an effective and rapid response to COVID-19 while ensuring that TB testing and care are maintained.1
Simultaneous and integrated testing for COVID-19 and TB which includes COVID-19 screening for all patients diagnosed with TB and TB screening for all patients with confirmed COVID-19 can be done to improve the detection of both diseases. It is especially important in the care of people who are vulnerable to unfavorable outcomes, including death like the older age group and people with certain comorbidities like diabetes mellitus and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This approach can also help to mitigate the gap caused by the pandemic in diagnosing and controlling tuberculosis.6, 7
Together we can defeat COVID-19 and TB.
At Pantai Premier Pathology, we provide Tuberculosis (TB) and Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Tests :
- Mycobacterium TB QuantiFERON test
- AFB-sputum test
- COVID-19 RTK antigen testing
- RT-PCR testing
- Song, W. M., Zhao, J. Y., Zhang, Q. Y., Liu, S. Q., Zhu, X. H., An, Q. Q., … & Li, H. C. (2021). COVID-19 and Tuberculosis Coinfection: An Overview of Case Reports/Case Series and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in medicine, 8.
- Nikolayevskyy, V., Holicka, Y., van Soolingen, D., van der Werf, M. J., Ködmön, C., Surkova, E., … & Cirillo, D. (2021). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tuberculosis laboratory services in Europe. European Respiratory Journal, 57(1).
- Global Tuberculosis Programme. (n.d.). World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved March 22, 2022, from https://www.who.int/teams/global-tuberculosis-programme/covid-19\
- Global tuberculosis report 2021. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
- Pai, M., Kasaeva, T., & Swaminathan, S. (2022). Covid-19’s Devastating Effect on Tuberculosis Care—A Path to Recovery. New England Journal of Medicine.
- Ruhwald, M., Hannay, E., Sarin, S., Kao, K., Sen, R., & Chadha, S. (2022). Considerations for simultaneous testing of COVID-19 and tuberculosis in high-burden countries. The Lancet. Global Health.
- World Health Organization (WHO). (2020). Tuberculosis and COVID-19. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/documents/tuberculosis/infonote-tb-covid-19.pdf