Prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis among students in three eastern Ethiopian universities

A. Mekonnen, J. M. Collins, A. Aseffa, G. Ameni, B. Petros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


SETTINGS: Three universities located in eastern Ethiopia: Haramaya University, Haramaya; Dire-Dawa University, Dire-Dawa; and Jigjiga University, Jigjiga. OBJECTIVES: To determine the burden of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) among university students and to identify risk factors for the development of TB disease. DESIGN: All full-time university students were screened for symptoms of PTB and sputum was collected for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) examination and culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. RESULTS: Of 35 344 students screened, we identified 153 PTB cases that occurred over the 1-year study period, or 433/100 000 students. Of these, 117 (76%) PTB cases were found through passive case finding at student health centres, while 36 (24%) previously undiagnosed patients were identified through active case finding. Sixteen cases detected using active case finding (44%) were smear-positive. Living in a dormitory with 75 students and attending university for 72 years were both significantly associated with PTB (adjusted OR 2.49 and 3.79, respectively, P, 0.001). In persons who underwent drug susceptibility testing, 11 (30.5%) had resistance to at least one first-line anti-tuberculosis drug. CONCLUSIONS: We found a high burden of TB among university students in eastern Ethiopia. Screening for PTB upon university admission and at regular intervals should be considered to minimise TB transmission on university campuses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1215
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Active case finding
  • PTB
  • Prevalence
  • Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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