Active tuberculosis case-finding among pregnant women presenting to antenatal clinics in soweto, South Africa

Celine R. Gounder, Nikolas Wada, Caroline Kensler, Avy Violari, James McIntyre, Richard E. Chaisson, Neil A. Martinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) are among the leading causes of death among women of reproductive age worldwide. TB is a significant cause of maternal morbidity. Detection of TB during pregnancy could provide substantial benefits to women and their children. Methods: This was a cross-sectional implementation research study of integrating active TB case-finding into existing antenatal and prevention of mother-to-child transmission services in six clinics in Soweto, South Africa. All pregnant women 18 years of age or older presenting for routine care to these public clinics were screened for symptoms of active TB, cough for 2 weeks or longer, sputum production, fevers, night sweats, or weight loss, regardless of their HIV status. Participants with any symptom of active TB were asked to provide a sputum specimen for smear microscopy, mycobacterial culture and drug-susceptibility testing. Results: Between December 2008 and July 2009, 3963 pregnant women were enrolled and screened for TB, of whom 1454 (36.7%) were HIV-seropositive. Any symptom of TB was reported by 23.1% of HIV-seropositive and 13.8% of HIV-seronegative women (P < 0.01). Active pulmonary TB was diagnosed in 10 of 1454 HIV-seropositve women (688 per 100,000) and 5 of 2483 HIV-seronegative women (201 per 100,000, P = 0.03). The median CD4 T-cell count among HIV-seropositive women with TB was similar to that of HIV-seropositive women without TB (352 versus 333 cells/μL, P = 0.85). Conclusions: There is a high burden of active TB among HIV-seropositive pregnant women. TB screening and provision of isoniazid preventive therapy and antiretroviral therapy should be integrated with prevention of mother-to-child transmission services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e77-e84
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • HIV
  • epidemiology
  • pregnancy
  • screening
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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