The potential impact of enhanced diagnostic techniques for tuberculosis driven by HIV: A mathematical model

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OBJECTIVE: To explore the potential impact of enhanced tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic techniques as a TB control strategy in an adult population with high HIV prevalence. DESIGN: A compartmental difference-equation model of TB/HIV was developed using parameter estimates from the literature. METHODS: The impact of five TB control interventions (rapid molecular testing, mycobacterial culture, community-wide and HIV-targeted active case finding, and highly active antiretroviral therapy) on TB incidence, prevalence, and mortality was modeled in a steady-state population with an HIV prevalence of 17% and annual TB incidence of 409 per 100 000. Sensitivity analyses assessed the influence of each model parameter on the interventions' mortality impact. RESULTS: Enhanced diagnostic techniques (rapid molecular testing or culture) are each projected to reduce TB prevalence and mortality by 20% or more, an impact similar to that of active case-finding in 33% of the general community and greater than the effect achievable by case-finding or antiretroviral treatment efforts in HIV-positive patients alone. The projected impact of enhanced diagnostics on TB incidence (< 10% reduction) is smaller. The impact of TB diagnostics is sensitive to the quality of existing diagnostic standards and the level of access to diagnostic services, but is robust across a wide range of population parameters including HIV and TB incidence. CONCLUSIONS: Enhanced TB diagnostic techniques may have substantial impact on TB morbidity and mortality in HIV-endemic regions. As TB rates continue to increase in these areas, enhanced diagnostic techniques merit further consideration as TB control strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-762
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006


  • Diagnostic techniques and procedures
  • Epidemiology
  • HIV
  • Highly active antiretroviral therapy
  • Theoretical models
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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