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עמוד בית
Mon, 27.05.24

Search results


August 2022
Ido Tzanani MD MPH, Daniel Bendayan MD, Anat Jaffe MD PHD, and Zohar Mor MD MPH MHA

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the risk factors for progression from latent to active tuberculosis. However, the effect of DM on subsequent tuberculosis treatment is still inconclusive.

Objectives: To compare tuberculosis treatment outcomes and the rate of drug resistance of tuberculosis patients with or without DM.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted between 2005 and 2015 at the only tuberculosis ward in Israel. All 80 tuberculosis patients who had DM and were hospitalized during the study period were included in this study, as were a randomized sample of 213 tuberculosis patients without DM. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient files in the hospital and clinics after discharge.

Results: Tuberculosis patients with DM were more often older and more likely to be Israeli citizens with a lower socioeconomic status than patients without DM. No statistically significant differences were found in clinical presentation, radiological findings, and sputum smear tests between the two groups. Culture converting times were prolonged in patients with DM compared to normoglycemic patients. Multidrug drug resistance tuberculosis was more common among normoglycemic tuberculosis patients than tuberculosis patients with DM (9.2% vs. 1.6%, P = 0.12). Treatment success rates were 76.2% and 83.1% for tuberculosis patients with or without DM, respectively (P = 0.18). DM was not statistically significant in the multivariate analysis predicting treatment success, which controlled for age, citizenship, compliance, addictions, and chronic diseases.

Conclusions: The presence of DM does not necessarily affect tuberculosis treatment outcomes as long as treatment compliance is optimal.

Yulia Zinchenko MD PhD, Anna Malkova MD, and Anna Starshinova Prof
March 2021
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA and Andrew Gal BSc (Med) MBBS FRCPA

Germany was a scientifically advanced country in the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in medicine, with a major interest in research and the treatment of tuberculosis. From 1933 until 1945, Nazi Germany perverted scientific research through criminal experimentations on captured prisoners of war and on "subhumans" by scientifically untrained, but politically driven, staff. This article exposes a series of failed experiments on tuberculosis in adults, experiments without scientific validity. Nonetheless, Dr. Kurt Heißmeyer repeated the experiment on Jewish children, who were murdered for the sake of personal academic ambition. It is now 75 years since liberation and the murdered children must be remembered. This observational review raises questions of medical and ethical values

November 2020
Vera Santos Felisberto MD, Ana R. Delgado MD, Hermengarda Pinto MD, and Paulo Morais MD
March 2019
Mariano Martini PhD, Naim Mahroum MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD and Alessandra Parodi PhD
August 2017
Irina Vasilyevna Belyaeva MD PhD, Leonid Pavlovitch Churilov MD PhD, Liya Robertovnа Mikhailova MS, Aleksey Vladimirovitch Nikolaev MD, Anna Andreevna Starshinova MD DSci and Piotr Kazimirovitch Yablonsky MD DSci

Background: Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases such as tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. 

Objectives: To evaluate the vitamin D-dependent mechanisms of immunity and autoimmunity in different forms of pulmonary tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.

Methods: We measured the serum levels of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D, individual autoimmune profiles, plasma concentrations of cathelicidin, several hormones, and production of nine cytokines in patients with short- and long-duration tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.

Results: The level of 25(OH)D was significantly decreased in all patients. Concentration of 1,25(OH)2D was elevated only in sarcoidosis, prolactin content was augmented only in tuberculosis. We saw no expected increase of cathelicidin levels in tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. The individual mean immune reactivity levels of autoantibodies to 24 antigens were significantly lower in tuberculosis and sarcoidosis patients compared to healthy controls. Pronounced deviations from individual mean immune reactivity levels were found for several autoantigens in all patients. The induced production of interferon gamma-γ, interleukin (IL) 2, 17, and 8 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells was significantly increased in patients of both tuberculosis groups, but spontaneous production of tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-2, and IL-6 was lower in the tuberculosis patients than in healthy controls. We registered marked differences in the groups of tuberculosis patients. 

Conclusions: We demonstrated the role of vitamin D deficiency in poor cathelicidin response in  tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. Both diseases are accompanied by significant changes in the autoimmune profile, probably related to the status of vitamin D and cytokine regulation. 

 

Shir Azrielant and Yehuda Shoenfeld
April 2017
Valeria Zhdanov MPH, Natalya Bilenko MD MPH PhD and Zohar Mor MD MPH MHA

Background: Recurrent tuberculosis (TB) is one of the indices used to assess the effectiveness of the Israeli National TB Programs (NTP).

Objectives: To estimate the incidence of recurrent TB in Israel and to identify the associated risk factors.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all TB patients who were Israeli citizens and diagnosed between 1999 and 2011 with a treatment outcome recorded as “success." We compared those who had recurrent TB with those who did not. In addition, a nested case-control study included all those who had recurrent TB with a random sample from this cohort matched by age, gender, and year of TB diagnosis.

Results: Of 3515 TB patients diagnosed between 1999 and 2011, 37 (1.05%) had recurrent TB during the follow-up period, with an incidence rate of 1.55 cases per 1000 person-years (PY). Male gender [hazard ratio (HR) 3.2, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.4–7.4], human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (HR 3.9, 95%CI 1.5–10.4), positive sputum culture [odds ratios (OR) 2.7, 95%CI 1.1–6.9], and low adherence to anti-TB treatment (OR 3.2, 95%CI 1.0–10.3) were found to be risk factors for recurrent TB.

Conclusions: Male gender, HIV infection, positive sputum culture, and low adherence to anti-TB drugs during the initial TB episode were risk factors for developing recurrent TB.

July 2015
Einat Fireman-Klein MD, Avraham Man MD, Yehuda Schwartz MD and Elizabeth Fireman PhD

Background: Determining the accuracy of interferon gamma-releasing assays (IGRAs) is difficult due to the lack of a gold standard test for diagnosing latent tuberculosis (LTB). 

Objectives: To analyze the guidelines used for interpreting IGRAs in determining prophylactic treatment management for latent tuberculosis (LTB) in Israel.

Methods: We analyzed the retrospective data of 367 subjects who were referred to our laboratory during the period 2007–2011 for QuantiFERON Test-Gold In Tube (QFT-GIT) tests because of suspected LTB. Demographics and clinical data were retrieved from a questionnaire at enrollment, and 166/367 (45%) were further interviewed by phone in order to complete follow-up information on prophylactic TB treatment. 

Results: The majority of subjects (116/166, 69.9%, P < 0.0001) were spared prophylactic treatment subsequent to QFT-GIT testing. Subjects with negative QFT-GIT and positive tuberculin skin test (TST) results who were BCG-vaccinated had the lowest treatment rates (6/68, 8.8%, P < 0.0001). Most BCG-vaccinated subjects with positive TST and negative QFT-GIT test results received treatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) (17/19, 89.5%, P = 0.004). We found more negative QFT-GIT test results in subjects who were receiving anti-TNFα or steroid and other immunosuppressive treatment prior to testing (11/11, 100%, P = 0.029; 22/26, 84.6%, P = 0.06; 15/17, 88%, P = 0.06, respectively). 

Conclusions: Deciding on LTB prophylactic treatment in Israel is highly influenced by QFT-GIT test results. QFT-GIT findings contribute to clinical decisions, but their interpretation must also consider the patient’s medical history and clinical characteristics. 

 

June 2015
Hashem Bishara MD MPH, Noam Goldstein MD, Marwan Hakim MD, Olga Vinitsky MD MPH, Danit Shechter-Amram RN and Daniel Weiler-Ravell MD

Background: Atypical presentation of tuberculosis (TB) during pregnancy may cause diagnostic delay and adversely influence pregnancy outcome. 

Objectives: To examine the incidence and clinical and epidemiological features of TB during pregnancy and investigate infection control measures at delivery and during the postpartum period.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all reported cases of TB diagnosed during pregnancy to 6 months postpartum in Israel’s Northern Health District (2002–2012). 

Results: Active TB was detected in six patients; all were negative for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Two patients were diagnosed in the postpartum period, and four had pulmonary involvement. The average incidence during this period (3.9 per 100,000 pregnancies) was similar to that in the general population. Five patients were at high risk of contracting TB due to either recent immigration from a high-burden country or being in contact with another individual with active TB. Patients with pleuropulmonary involvement had prolonged cough and abnormal chest X-rays, without fever. Diagnosis was delayed for 3 to 7 months from symptom onset. Investigation of the newborn to rule out intrauterine infection was conducted in only one of four relevant cases. All patients were infected with organisms susceptible to all first-line drugs, and all were cured with standard therapy.

Conclusions: There was a considerable delay in the diagnosis of TB among pregnant women, and investigation of the newborn upon delivery to rule out TB infection was routinely omitted. Effective management of TB during pregnancy and the postpartum period requires a multidisciplinary approach including an obstetrician, pediatrician, TB specialist, and public health physician.

 

April 2015
Vered Schichter-Konfino MD, Katalin Halasz, Galia Grushko, Ayelet Snir PhD, Tharwat Haj PhD, Zahava Vadasz MD PhD, Aharon Kessel MD, Israel Potasman MD and Elias Toubi MD

Abstract

Background: The mass influx of immigrants from tuberculosis-endemic countries into Israel was followed by a considerable increase in the incidence of tuberculosis (TB). All contacts of active TB patients are obliged to be screened by tuberculin skin tests (TST) and, if found positive, prophylactic treatment is considered.

Objectives: To assess the utility of interferon-gamma (IFNγ)-release assay with a prolonged follow-up in preventing unnecessary anti-TB therapy in individuals with suspected false positive results.

Methods: Between 2008 and 2012 the QuantiFERON TB gold-in-tube test (QFT-G) was performed in 278 sequential individuals who were mostly TST-positive and/or were in contact with an active TB patient. In all, whole blood was examined by the IFNγ-release assay. We correlated the TST diameter with the QFT-G assay and followed those patients with a negative assay.

Results: The QFT-G test was positive in only 72 (42%) of all 171 TST-positive individuals. There was no correlation between the diameter of TST and QFT-G positivity. Follow-up over 5 years was available in 128 (62%) of all QFT-G-negative individuals. All remained well and none developed active TB.

Conclusions: A negative QFT-G test may obviate the need for anti-TB therapy in more than half of those with a positive TST.

January 2015
Zohar Mor MD MPH MPH, Orly Weinstein MD MHA, Dini Tischler-Aurkin MD MPA, Alex Leventhal MD MPH MPA, Alon Yaniv and Itamar Grotto MD PhD MPH

Background: Since 2006 more than 60,000 migrants arrived in Israel from the Horn of Africa (HoA: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia). They were detained in prison and screened for tuberculosis (TB) by means of an interview and chest X-ray (CXR).

Objectives: To evaluate the yield of this screening process.

Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated the validity of CXR in a random sample of 1087 of the 5335 HoA migrants (20.4%) who arrived in 2009, and assessed its related costs.

Results: Sixty-two migrants (5.7%) had CXRs with TB-suspicious findings, and 11 of them were finally diagnosed with TB (17.7% of all TB-suspicious CXRs). TB point-prevalence was 1000 cases per 100,000 migrants (1.0%). As no additional TB cases were diagnosed on arrival, CXR sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value were 100%, 96.1% and 17.7%, respectively. The interview did not contribute to the detection of migrants with TB. Direct costs related to the detection of single TB cases in prison was 17,970 shekels (US$ 4585), lower than the treating cost of 28,745 shekels ($ 7335). During 2008–2010, 88 HoA migrants who had been screened at the prison after crossing the border were later diagnosed with TB in the community. The average annual TB incidence was 132 cases/100,000 migrants. We traced 56 (63.6%) of the CXRs that were performed during detention. Of those, 41 (73.2%) were unremarkable, 8 (14.2%) were TB suspicious and 7 (12.5%) had non-TB-related abnormalities.

Conclusions: CXR-based screening is a valid and cost-saving tool for screening  HoA migrants for TB; the interview has significant limitations. 

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