High helminthic co-infection in tuberculosis patients with undernutritional status in northeastern Ethiopia

Fikru Gashaw, Samuel Bekele, Yalemtsehay Mekonnen, Girmay Medhin, Gobena Ameni, Berhanu Erko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Tuberculosis and parasitosis are the widely distributed diseases in Ethiopia with the leading cause of mortality and morbidity, respectively. There has been no information on the status of co-infections of tuberculosis and parasitosis in Oromia Zone of Amhara Region and South Wollo, Ethiopia. Hence, this study primarily focuses on determining the status of tuberculosis and parasitosis co-infections and associated factors. Methods: The study was conducted in Oromia Special Zone of the Amhara Regional State and South Wollo Zone, northeastern Ethiopia from April 2015 to January 2017. Tuberculosis cases confirmed by health personnel at the health institutions were the source of the study sample. In a cross-sectional study 384 smear positive pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis cases were recruited. Faecal specimens provided by the study participants were examined for parasitic co-infections using direct saline microscopic test, Kato-Katz and concentration techniques. Nutritional status was determined using body mass index and mid-upper arm circumferences. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistical methods and Pearson chi-square. Results: Tuberculosis and parasitosis co-infection prevalence was 10.8%, and the proportion of intestinal helminths accounted for 9.7% while intestinal protozoa accounted for 1.9%. Cases with single parasitic infection was 89.3% among co-infected individuals. Co-infection of both disease was not significantly associated with gender and age (P > 0.05). The prevalence of undernutrition was 58.6% as determined using body mass index and 73.0% as determined using mid-upper arm circumference with no significant association with gender. Among all forms of tuberculosis cases (384) screened for the study, the bacterial positivity was relatively more common in males (55.5%) than females (44.5%). Tuberculosis lymphadenitis was found to be the most prevalent (85.9%) form of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis with cervical adenopathy (75.3%) being the commonly existing disease. Conclusions: The rate of helminthic co-infection is predominantly high than that of intestinal protozoa. Single parasitic co-infection was more common than double or multiple co-infections. Both body mass index and mid-upper arm circumference anthropometric parameters revealed greater risk of undernutrition in tuberculosis patients. Thus, screening and prompt treatment of parasites in tuberculosis patients and a support of nutritional supplementation for malnourished tuberculosis patients should be further studied which might enhance the disease treatment and minimize the risk of its complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number88
JournalInfectious Diseases of Poverty
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 18 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-infection
  • Northeastern Ethiopia
  • Parasitosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Undernutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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