Prevalence of Acid-Fast-Bacillus-Positive Cases Among Patients Attending a Chest Clinic in Aba, Eastern Nigeria

  • LN Chigbu Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, Nigeria
  • CU Iroegbu Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Keywords: Tuberculosis, Surveillance, and acid-fast-bacilli


Three sputum smears were made from each of the 440 patients, (182 females and 258 males), presenting with bronchopulmonary symptoms at three hospitals in Aba, Nigeria. The smears were stained by Ziehl-Neelsen\'s method and examined microscopically for acid-fast bacilli. The bacilli were detected in 143 (32.5%) of the patients, with more cases occurring among females patients (38.0%) than males (28.7%). The 15 - 20 year age group, which was the most affected (40.0%), consisted mainly of apprentices, the occupational/social group with the highest prevalence, (45%). The next occupational/social group with high prevalence rate consisted of the hairdressers (42.8%). The risk factor common to these groups was overcrowding in poorly-ventilated accommodation. The prevalence rate of 32.5% is high and the attention of the Nigerian Tuberculosis Control Programme is extensively needed in this region, with more emphasis on the improvement of the life style of the groups with the risk factors.
Key words: tuberculosis, surveillance, acid-fast-bacilli
Journal of Medical Laboratory Science Vol.13(1) 2004: 30 - 35

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