Determinants of tuberculosis disease development in children in central Ethiopia: A matched case-control study

Abay Burusie, Fikre Enquesilassie, Nicole Salazar-Austin, Adamu Addissie

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Background The risk factors for tuberculosis (TB) disease development in children remained understudied, particularly in low-income countries like Ethiopia. The objective of this study was to identify determinants of TB disease development in general and in relation to BCG vaccination in children in central Ethiopia. Methods We employed a 1:1 age-matched case-control design to compare the characteristics of children who developed TB (cases) with those who did not (controls). Data were collected in healthcare facilities in Addis Ababa city, Adama, and Bishoftu towns between September 25, 2021, and June 24, 2022. Two hundred and fifty-six cases were drawn at random from a list of childhood TB patients entered into SPSS software, and 256 controls were selected sequentially at triage from the same healthcare facilities where the cases were treated. A bivariate conditional logistic regression analysis was performed first to select candidate variables with p-values less than or equal to 0.20 for the multivariable model. Finally, variables with a p-value less than 0.05 for a matched adjusted odds ratio (mORadj) were reported as independent determinants of TB disease development. Results The mean age of the cases was nine years, while that of the controls was 10 years. Males comprised 126 cases (49.2%) and 119 controls (46.5%), with the remainder being females. Ninety-nine (38.7%) of the cases were not BCG-vaccinated, compared to 58 (22.7%) of the controls. Household TB contact was experienced by 43 (16.8%) of the cases and 10 (3.9%) of the controls. Twenty-two (8.6%) of the cases and six (2.3%) of the controls were exposed to a cigarette smoker in their household. Twenty-two (8.6%) of the cases and three (1.2%) of the controls were positive for HIV. Children who were not vaccinated with BCG at birth or within two weeks of birth had more than twice the odds (mORadj = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.28–3.48) of developing TB compared to those who were. Children who ever lived with a TB-sick family member (mORadj = 4.28, 95% CI = 1.95–9.39), smoking family members (mORadj = 3.15, 95% CI = 1.07–9.27), and HIV-infected children (mORadj = 8.71, 95% CI = 1.96–38.66) also had higher odds of developing TB disease than their counterparts. Conclusions Being BCG-unvaccinated, having household TB contact, having a smoker in the household, and being HIV-infected were found to be independent determinants of TB disease development among children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0300731
JournalPloS one
Issue number5 May
StatePublished - May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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