Predictors of incident tuberculosis in HIV-exposed children in Tanzania

  • JL Finkelstein
  • KP Manji
  • C Duggan
  • E Hertzmark
  • S Mehta
  • GI Msamanga
  • D Spiegelman
  • WW Fawzi


Objective: To examine the predictors of tuberculosis infection in HIV-exposed children.
Design: A longitudinal cohort study nested within a randomised controlled trial.
Setting: Antenatal clinics in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Subjects: Children born to 875 HIV-infected women in Tanzania.
Results: A total of 82 children developed tuberculosis during the follow-up period. In multivariate analyses, HIV infection was associated with a six-fold increase in risk of tuberculosis. Breastfeeding duration, child mid-upper arm circumference, and maternal CD4 T-cell counts were inversely related to risk of tuberculosis. In HIV-infected children, greater number of people eating at the same household meal and child CD8 T-cell counts were associated with increased risk of tuberculosis; higher maternal lymphocyte counts, increased duration of breastfeeding, and lower vitamin E levels were associated with reduced risk of tuberculosis. In HIV-uninfected children, breastfeeding duration and increased child mid-upper arm circumference were associated with reduced risk of tuberculosis.
Conclusion: Breastfeeding duration, HIV status, maternal and child nutritional and immunological status were important predictors of child tuberculosis. Appropriate infant feeding and nutritional interventions could represent important adjuncts to prevent tuberculosis in children born to HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa.

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eISSN: 0012-835X