A Four-year Trend in Pulmonary Bacteriologically Confirmed Tuberculosis Case Detection in Kampala, Uganda

Journal Article
  • Nicholas Sebuliba Kirirabwa
  • Derrick Kimuli
  • Carol Nanziri
  • Denis Sama
  • Syrus Ntudhu
  • Daniel Ayen Okello
  • Raymond Byaruhanga
  • Deus Lukoye
  • Samuel Kasozi
BMC Pulmonary Medicine
2019; Vol. 19: 91. DOI: 10.1186/s12890-019-0853-3.
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The management and control of pulmonary bacteriologically confirmed (PBC) tuberculosis (TB) also known as infectious TB is important not only to monitor for resistance but also to check for severity, treatment response and limit its spread.


A retrospective analysis of diagnosis smear results of PBC TB patients in Kampala district registered between January 2012 and December 2015 at 65 TB diagnosis and treatment units (DTUs) was done.


Of the 10,404 records; 6551 (63.0%) belonged to PBC TB patients, 3734 (57.0%) of whom were male. Sputum smear microscopy was the diagnostic test most commonly used 4905 (74.9%) followed by GeneXpert testing, 1023 (15.6%). Majority, 1951 (39.8%), of the PBC TB patients had a smear positivity grading of 3+ (> 10 acid-fast bacillus (AFB)/Fields). Public facilities diagnosed more PBC TB patients compared to private facilities, 3983 (60.8%) vs 2566 (39.2%). From 2012 through 2015, there was a statistically significant increase in PBC TB patients enrolled on anti-TB treatment from 1389 to 2194 (p = 0.000). The percentage of HIV positive co-infected PBC TB patients diagnosed decreased from 597(43%) to 890(40.6%) (p = 0.000) within same period. Linkage to HIV care improved from 229 (34.4%) in 2012 to 464 (52.1%) in 2015 (p = 0.000). The treatment success rate (TSR) for PBC TB patients improved from 69% in 2012 to 75.5% by end of 2015 (p = 0.001) with an improvement in cure rate from 52.3% to 62% (p = 0.000). There was an observed significant decrease in TB related mortality from 8.9 to 6.4% (p = 0.013).


The proportion of diagnosed PBC TB patients increased from 2012 to 2015. PBC TB patients diagnosed with 3+ smear positivity grading results consistently contributed to the highest proportion of diagnosed PBC TB patients from 2012 to 2015. This could be due to the delay in diagnosis of TB patients because of late presentation of patients to clinics. A prospective study of PBC TB patients diagnosed with 3+ smear positivity grading may elucidate the reasons for the delay to diagnosis. Further, we propose a study of wider scope to estimate how many people a single PBC TB patient is likely to infect with TB before being diagnosed and treated.