Active and latent tuberculosis among inmates in La Esperanza prison in Guaduas, Colombia

Julio Guerra, Daniel Mogollón, Deccy González, Ricardo Sanchez, Zulma Vanessa Rueda, Carlos A. Parra-López, Martha Isabel Murcia

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13 Scopus citations


Introduction Active tuberculosis (TB) and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are a public health threat in prisons around the world. The objectives of the study were to estimate the prevalence of LTBI and TB as well as to investigate TB transmission inside one prison, in Colombia. Methods A Cross-sectional study was conducted in inmates who agreed to participate. Inmates with respiratory symptoms (RS) of any duration underwent to medical evaluation and three sputum samples were taken for smear microscopy and culture for TB diagnosis. Drug susceptibility was analyzed using BACTEC MGIT 960 and GenoType MTBDRplus. Molecular genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates was performed by 24-Locus MIRU-VNTR and spoligotyping. LTBI was evaluated according to the result of the tuberculin skin test (TST). Close contact investigation was conducted inside the prison for inmates that shared the cell with the index TB case. Results Among 301/2,020 (15%) inmates with RS of any duration, 8% were diagnosed with active TB. The prevalence of active TB was 1,026 cases/100,000 inmates. We isolated M. tuberculosis in 19/24 (79%) TB cases, 94.7% were susceptible to first line drugs and only one was monoresistant to isoniazid. The most prevalent sub-lineage was Haarlem (68.4%), followed by LAM (26.3%) and T superfamily (5.3%). 24-Locus MIRU-VNTR typing results alone or in combination with spoligotyping identified three clusters containing two isolates each. Two clusters corresponded to inmates that shared the same cell, but each one was located in different blocks of the prison. Inmates from the last cluster were in the same block in nearby cells. TST reading was performed in 95.6% inmates, and 67.6% had a positive reaction. Conclusions The prevalence of LTBI and TB was higher in prison than in the general population. Molecular genotyping suggests that TB in this prison is mainly caused by strains imported by inmates or endogenous reactivation.
Original languageSpanish (Colombia)
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Types Minciencias

  • Artículos de investigación con calidad A1 / Q1

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