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Research Article

Prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis in Al-Najaf governate, Iraq

[version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

PUBLISHED 20 Jun 2022

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Introduction

Health awareness is one of the most important reasons to avoid different infection such as pulmonary-TB and COVID-19.1 The developing countries are the most infected with these types of infections.2,3 Pulmonary-TB considered as the most infection caused by Mtb and can cause many dangerous complicated in the lung lead to death in many times.4 Pulmonary-TB is a contagious disease that is a major cause of illness and one of the top causes of mortality around the world and was the biggest cause of mortality from a single infectious agent until the COVID-19 pandemic, ranking ahead of many infections such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).5,6 More than 80% of pulmonary-TB patients can be successfully treated with a six to nine-month drug regimen. Many factors can lead to PTB progress such as smoking, malnutrition, diabetes, poverty and absent of health awareness.7,8 In 2020, milestone of about more than 30% reduction in the absolute number of PTB deaths between 2015 and 2020.9 Al-Najaf Governorate is one of the most important holy cities in Iraq, about 180 kilometers south of Baghdad capital of Iraq and its estimated population about 1,500,000 people and it is crowded Governorate as compared with other because of highly percentage of visitors came to it from inside and outside of Iraq over the year.2 This feature may be lead to fast transmit of different pandemic diseases in population such as COVID19 and PTB.10,11 According to important features above, the main goal of this study is to detect the prevalence of numbers and percentages of PTB-patients caused by Mtb in AL-Najaf Governorate during one year to find the most important ways to avoid this deadly disease in future.

Methods

Research ethics

The authors confirm that they are getting verbal agreement from Mtb-patients in this study. We confirm that we have obtained all the original approvals from Specialized Center for Chest and Respiratory Disease in AL-Najaf Governorate (23895/2019) in order to collect samples and follow up on patients and all data that related with research.

Study design

This epidemiological study has been performed under supervisor of Specialized Center for Chest and Respiratory Disease in AL-Najaf Governorate during one year from the first January to end of December 2019. In this study, two main sections have been studied; north and south section. According to seasonal variation, study was divided to four quarters as follow: quarter one include January, February and March. Quarter two; April, May and June July. Quarter three; July, August and September. Quarter four; October, November and December.

Diagnosis of Mtb in PTB-patients

Sputum has been collected from all suspected patient infected with PTB as follows; fasting sputum were collected from the same patient in three days respectively, and made slide stained with Ziehl-Neelsen. Appearance of red bacilli has been considered as positive infection with Mtb.12,13

Statistical analysis

Graph-Pad Prism computer software has been used to detect the numbers and percentages of PTB-patients caused by Mtb according to ages, gender and seasonal variation.1416

Results

Total PTB-patients

The results indicated in Table 1 there were 174 PTB-patients in AL-Najaf Governorate; 89 male 51.1% and 85 female 48.9%. Out of total 174, there were 101(58%) in north section and 73(42%) in south section of the Governorate. According to age groups, Table 2 shows the age group 16-24 was the most infected with PTB that recorded 52 patients 29.9% followed by 55-64 which recorded 45 patients 25.9%.

Table 1. Total PTB-patients caused by Mtb in AL-Najaf Governorate 2019.

AL-Najaf Governorate Male (100%) Female (100%) Total (100%)
North section 49 (48.5) 52 (51.5) 101 (58)
South section 40 (54.8) 33 (45.2) 73 (42)
Total (No. %) 89 (51.1) 85 (48.9) 174 (100)

Table 2. Total distribution of PTB-patients caused by Mtb according to age groups in AL-Najaf Governorate 2019.

Age group (year) 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 Total (100%)
North section 32 16 11 18 24 101 (58)
South section 20 10 12 10 21 73 (42)
Total (100%) 52 (29.9) 26 (15) 23 (13.2) 28 (16) 45 (25.9) 174 (100)

Seasonal infections

Thirty eight PTB-patients have been recorded in quarter one distributed as follows: 22 patients 57.9% in north section and 16 in south section 42.1%. Age group 16-24 was the highest infected with 13 cases 34.2% while the 25-34 was the lowest which recorded 5 cases 13.2% only (Table 3). Quarter two recorded the highest numbers of PTB-patients; 33 (60%) in north section and 22 (40%) in south section. Also, the age group 16-24 was the highest infected with 17 patients 31% while the 35-44 was the lowest which recorded 6 cases 11% (Table 4). As shown in Table 5 there were 44 PTB-patients in quarter three; 23 patients 52.3% and 21 patients 47.7% has been recorded in north and south section respectively, while the age group 55-64 registered 15 infections 34.1%, on the contrary, the age group 35-44 was the lowest infected with 4 cases 9.1%. The results proved in Table 6 there were 37 PTB-patients in quarter four; 23 (62.1%) and 14 (37.9%) in north and south section of Governorate respectively, age group 16-24 recorded 11 patients 29.7% while the 25-35 registered 3 cases 8.1%.

Table 3. Total distribution of PTB-patients caused by Mtb in AL-Najaf Governorate in quarter one 2019.

Age group (year) 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 Total Total (100%)
North section Male 3 1 0 3 2 9 22 (57.9)
Female 5 3 1 1 3 13
South section Male 1 1 2 3 1 8 16 (42.1)
Female 4 0 3 0 1 8
Total (100%) 13 (34.2) 5 (13.2) 6 (15.8) 7 (18.4) 7 (18.4) 38 (100) 38 (100)

Table 4. Total distribution of PTB-patients caused by Mtb in AL-Najaf Governorate in quarter two 2019.

Age group (year) 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 Total Total (100%)
North section Male 4 4 3 3 2 16 33 (60)
Female 7 1 1 3 5 17
South section Male 4 3 2 1 2 12 22 (40)
Female 2 2 0 1 5 10
Total (100%) 17 (31) 10 (18.1) 6 (11) 8 (14.5) 14 (25.4) 55 (100) 55 (100)

Table 5. Total distribution of PTB-patients caused by Mtb in AL-Najaf Governorate in quarter three 2019.

Age group (year) 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 Total Total (100%)
North section Male 5 2 1 2 2 12 23 (52.3)
Female 2 4 1 1 3 11
South section Male 2 1 2 2 6 13 21 (47.7)
Female 2 1 0 1 4 8
Total (100%) 11 (25) 8 (18.2) 4 (9.1) 6 (13.6) 15 (34.1) 44 (100) 44 (100)

Table 6. Total distribution of PTB-patients caused by Mtb in AL-Najaf Governorate in quarter four 2019.

Age group (year) 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 Total Total (100%)
North section Male 2 0 4 4 2 12 23 (62.1)
Female 4 1 0 1 5 11
South section Male 2 1 2 2 0 7 14 (37.9)
Female 3 1 1 0 2 7
Total (100%) 11 (29.7) 3 (8.1) 7 (18.9) 7 (18.9) 9 (24.4) 37 (100) 37 (100)

Discussion

Al-Najaf is a tourist governorate in Iraq, attracting millions of tourists from within Iraq and abroad annually and inhabited by a high percentage of the population. Therefore, it is necessary to study the most important epidemic diseases that may be dangerously and quickly transmitted in this type of crowded population.17,18 In this epidemiological study we divided Al-Najaf Governorate in two sections: north and south (Table 1), the results demonstrated that north section was higher than south section according to total infection in 2019, this result is may be due to the increase in the population and the large number of rural and crowded areas in north section more than south section.2,19 Also, Table 1 proved that there was approximately equal frequency in numbers of male and female infected with PTB; 89 and 85 respectively, while other researchers proved that PTB rates are significantly higher in male than in female.2022 In this study, the equal numbers of male and female infected with PTB may be due to there have their equal involvement in society and public life.23 Therefore, man and women are vulnerable to PTB in equal percentage. Male and female have different combinations of risk factors for PTB but the main reason still not fully unclear.24 Out of five age groups, we documented in Table 2 the age group 14-26 was the highest infected with 52 patients 29.9%. We think this is dangerous indicator in young age groups and the reason may be due to low health awareness, malnutrition and hookah smoking.25,26 Martinez et al. (2017)12 recommended that focusing PTB preventive efforts on home contacts is extremely beneficial. However, beyond the family, a significant portion of transmission may occur at the communal level.27 Therefore, we must increasing health awareness among young people and holding seminars to focus on the seriousness of this deadly disease to protecting children at risk for tuberculosis transmission in communities and households should be recommended. Poor health system development, scarcity of medical care and socio-economic factors and have been linked with increased risk of PTB on individual and population levels in developing countries.28,29 These factors cannot account for the seasonality of PTB incidence, which has been seen in many parts of the world. According seasonal variation, quarter two recorded 55 cases it is the highest numbers of PTB-patients. Much research recorded a high numbers in infections in the warm seasons.30,31 Al-Najaf Governorate has hot climate in most of year with hot shiny sun, therefore, most peoples try avoiding the sun light that lead to decrease in vitamin D that support innate immune responses to Mtb.32,33 Skin is the important source for Vitamin D synthesis dependent upon sunlight exposure. The low exposure to sunlight during summer and winter could lead to vitamin D deficiency and subsequent that leads to low innate immune response and may be increase to Mtb infection.34,35

Conclusion

There were low PTB-patients numbers in AL-Najaf Governorate in 2019 but the Youngers were the most susceptible to infected. Infection in north section was higher than south section and there were no high differences between genders. Seasons have no high effect on the number of infections.

Data availability

All data has been included in this manuscript.

Raw data of patients infected with tuberculosis/2019

Sputum No. Gender of patient Age group/Year
16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64
1 Male X
2 Male X
3 Male X
4 Male X
5 Male X
6 Male X
7 Male X
8 Male X
9 Male X
10 Male X
11 Male X
12 Male X
13 Male X
14 Male X
15 Male X
16 Male X
17 Male X
18 Male X
19 Male X
20 Male X
21 Male X
22 Male X
23 Male X
24 Male X
25 Male X
26 Male X
27 Male X
28 Male X
29 Male X
30 Male X
31 Male X
32 Male X
33 Male X
34 Male X
35 Male X
36 Male X
37 Male X
38 Male X
39 Male X
40 Male X
41 Male X
42 Male X
43 Male X
44 Male X
45 Male X
46 Male X
47 Male X
48 Male X
49 Male X
50 Male X
51 Male X
52 Male X
53 Male X
54 Male X
55 Male X
56 Male X
56 Male X
58 Male X
59 Male X
60 Male X
61 Male X
62 Male X
63 Male X
64 Male X
65 Male X
66 Male X
67 Male X
68 Male X
69 Male X
70 Male X
71 Male X
72 Male X
73 Male X
74 Male X
75 Male X
76 Male X
77 Male X
78 Male X
79 Male X
80 Male X
81 Male X
82 Male X
83 Male X
84 Male X
85 Male X
86 Male X
87 Male X
88 Male X
89 Male X
90 Female X
91 Female X
92 Female X
93 Female X
94 Female X
95 Female X
96 Female X
97 Female X
98 Female X
99 Female X
100 Female X
101 Female X
102 Female X
103 Female X
104 Female X
105 Female X
106 Female X
107 Female X
108 Female X
109 Female X
110 Female X
111 Female X
112 Female X
113 Female X
114 Female X
115 Female X
116 Female X
117 Female X
118 Female X
119 Female X
120 Female X
121 Female X
122 Female X
123 Female X
124 Female X
125 Female X
126 Female X
127 Female X
128 Female X
129 Female X
130 Female X
131 Female X
132 Female X
133 Female X
134 Female X
135 Female X
136 Female X
137 Female X
138 Female X
139 Female X
140 Female X
141 Female X
142 Female X
143 Female X
144 Female X
145 Female X
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147 Female X
148 Female X
149 Female X
150 Female X
151 Female X
152 Female X
153 Female X
154 Female X
155 Female X
156 Female X
157 Female X
158 Female X
159 Female X
160 Female X
161 Female X
162 Female X
163 Female X
164 Female X
165 Female X
166 Female X
167 Female X
168 Female X
169 Female X
170 Female X
171 Female X
172 Female X
173 Female X
174 Female X

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