Odayar J, Rangaka MX, Zerbe A, Petro G, McIntyre JA, Phillips TK, Abrams EJ, Myer L. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2018 Jul 1;22(7):760-765. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.17.0448.
The burden of active tuberculosis (TB) in pregnancy compared with preconception and postpartum is unclear, particularly with universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation in pregnancy.
We retrospectively compared active TB incidence in the 18 months preconception, during pregnancy and up to 6 months postpartum in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive women attending antenatal care at a primary health care facility in Cape Town from 2013 to 2014.
Among 1513 women (4116 person-years [py]), 1489 (98.4%) received lifelong ART in pregnancy, and 79 TB episodes were identified. Unadjusted TB incidence rates (IR) preconception, during pregnancy and postpartum were 2466 (95%CI 1863-3202), 1127 (95% CI 600-1928) and 1447 (95% CI 694-2661) per 100 000 py, respectively. Adjusting for age and CD4 count at first antenatal visit and ART status, TB risk was lower during pregnancy (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.17 vs. preconception, 95%CI 0.09-0.31) and increased slightly postpartum (IRR 1.31 vs. pregnancy, 95%CI 0.56-3.07).
Among HIV-positive women in South Africa, the TB burden preconception, during pregnancy and postpartum was substantial. The risk of TB during pregnancy was lower than preconception, but increased slightly postpartum; this represents missed opportunities for diagnosis, prevention and control. Improved TB prevention strategies and integrated care for HIV-positive women and their children are needed.