HIV co-infection with tuberculous and non-tuberculous mycobacteria in western Kenya: challenges in the diagnosis and management.
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BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV co-infections have a global prevalence with devastating morbidity and massive mortality, Sub-Saharan Africa being the worst hit. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the prevalence of TB-HIV co-infection and demonstrate the confusion caused by NTM and HIV/AIDS co-infection in TB diagnosis and treatment in western Kenya. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study carried out at 10 hospitals in western Kenya, sputa from consenting 872 TB suspects underwent microscopy, and culture on Lowenstein-Jensen and Mycobacteria Growth Index Tube media. Isolates were identified using the Hain's GenoType(®) Mycobacterium CM and GenoType(®) Mycobacterium AS kits. A total of 695 participants were screened for HIV using Uni-Gold™ test and positives confirmed with the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: A total of 346 (39.7%) participants were diagnosed with TB. Out of the 346 TB cases, 263 (76%) were tested for HIV infection and 110 (41.8%) of these were sero-positive (co-infected). The female to male TB-HIV co-infection prevalence ratio (PR) was 1.35. This study reports isolation of non-tuberculous mycobacteria from TB suspects at a rate of 1.7%. CONCLUSION: A high TB-HIV co-infection rate was observed in this study. The NTM disease could be misdiagnosed and treated as TB in western Kenya.