Epidemiology and infection 2017 07 27() 1-10 doi 10.1017/S095026881700156X
Scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has reduced the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in South Africa. Despite the strong association of HIV infection with extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB), the effect of ART on the epidemiology of EPTB remains undocumented. We conducted a retrospective record review of patients initiated on treatment for EPTB in 2009 (ART coverage <5%) and 2013 (ART coverage 41%) at four public hospitals in rural Mopani District, South Africa. Data were obtained from TB registers and patients' clinical records. There was a 13% decrease in overall number of TB cases, which was similar for cases registered as EPTB (n = 399 in 2009 vs. 336 in 2013; P < 0·01) and for PTB (1031 vs. 896; P < 0·01). Among EPTB cases, the proportion of miliary TB and disseminated TB decreased significantly (both P < 0·01), TB meningitis and TB of bones increased significantly (P < 0·01 and P = 0·02, respectively) and TB pleural effusion and lymphadenopathy remained the same. This study shows a reduction of EPTB cases that is similar to that of PTB in the context of the ART scale-up. The changing profile of EPTB warrants attention of healthcare workers.