Public transportation and tuberculosis transmission in a high incidence setting

Carlos Zamudio, Fiorella Krapp, Howard W. Choi, Lena Shah, Antonio Ciampi, Eduardo Gotuzzo, Jody Heymann, Carlos Seas, Timothy F. Brewer

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26 Scopus citations


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) transmission may occur with exposure to an infectious contact often in the setting of household environments, but extra-domiciliary transmission also may happen. We evaluated if using buses and/or minibuses as public transportation was associated with acquiring TB in a high incidence urban district in Lima, Peru. Methods: Newly diagnosed TB cases with no history of previous treatment and community controls were recruited from August to December 2008 for a case-control study. Crude and adjusted odd ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using logistic regression to study the association between bus/minibus use and TB risk. Results: One hundred forty TB cases and 80 controls were included. The overall use of buses/minibuses was 44.9%; 53.3% (72/135) among cases and 30.4% (24/79) among controls [OR: 3.50, (95% CI: 1.60-7.64)]. In the TB group, 25.7% (36/140) of subjects reported having had a recent household TB contact, and 13% (18/139) reported having had a workplace TB contact; corresponding figures for controls were 3.8% (3/80) and 4.1% (3/73), respectively[OR: 8.88 (95% CI: 2.64-29.92), and OR: 3.89 (95% CI: 1.10-13.70)]. In multivariate analyses, age, household income, household contact and using buses/minibuses to commute to work were independently associated with TB [OR for bus/minibus use: 11.8 (95% CI: 1.45-96.07)]. Conclusions: Bus/minibus use to commute to work is associated with TB risk in this high-incidence, urban population in Lima, Peru. Measures should be implemented to prevent TB transmission through this exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0115230
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


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