Prospective cross-sectional study of tuberculosis screening in United Arab Emirates

Farida Almarzooqi, Aysha Alkhemeiri, Ahmed Aljaberi, Rayhan Hashmey, Taoufik Zoubeidi, Abdul Kader Souid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Intense migrations from tuberculosis endemic areas to Gulf countries create special risks for people in the region. The purpose of this study was to provide data that could justify implementing universal, regular TB screening in UAE. Design: This prospective, cross-sectional study used interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) to screen for TB among Emirati citizens between August-2016 and May-2017; expatriates were not included in this study. Participants were recruited from Emiratis attending Tawam Hospital Polyclinics for problems unrelated to TB risk assessment. IGRA was requested for all enrolled participants. A risk-assessment questionnaire was completed by all participants. In addition, a retrospective review of IGRA results (January-2011 to April-2016) was conducted to compare prevalence of positive IGRA in the ‘prospective sample’ with that in ‘patients screened in the past’. Results: Four hundred fifty-five participants (69% females) were enrolled in this study. Participants’ age (mean ± SD) was 42 ± 16y. The majority of participants had traveled to or had helpers from TB-endemic areas. Two hundred forty (53%) participants had IGRA test. Forty-five (18.8%) participants had positive IGRA, similar to the retrospective results of 12.4% to 23.5%. Conclusions: The prevalence of positive-IGRA in this study is high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Gulf region
  • Interferon-γ release assay
  • Latent TB infection
  • TB disease
  • TB screening
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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