27 Apr 2021
International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
BACKGROUND: The impact of COVID-19 on the diagnosis and management of tuberculosis (TB) patients remains unknown. METHODS: Participant centres completed a structured web-based survey regarding changes in the management of TB patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, investigators included all patients ≥ 18 years with a TB diagnosis in two different periods: from March 15th to June 30th of 2020 and March 15th to June 30th, 2019. Clinical variables and information about household contacts were retrospectively collected. RESULTS: Seven (70%) TB Units reported changes in the TB team usual operation. A total of 169 patients were diagnosed with active TB in both periods of study (90 in 2019 and 79 in 2020). Patients diagnosed in 2020 showed more frequently bilateral lesions in CXR compared with patients diagnosed in 2019 (p = 0·004). A higher percentage of LTBI and active TB among children household contacts of patients diagnosed in 2020 compared to patients diagnosed in 2019 (p = 0·001) was observed. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial changes in TB care. TB patients diagnosed during COVID pandemic showed more extended pulmonary forms. The increase in LTBI infection and active TB in household children could reflect an expanded household transmission derived from antiCOVID19 measures.