Improved detection of tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis among tibetan refugees, India

Kerry L. Dierberg, Kunchok Dorjee, Fulvio Salvo, Wendy A. Cronin, J’Belle Boddy, Daniela Cirillo, Tsetan Sadutshang, Richard E. Chaisson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) among Tibetan refugees in India is 431 cases/100,000 persons, compared with 181 cases/100,000 persons overall in India in 2010. More than half of TB cases in these refugees occur among students, monks, and nuns in congregate settings. We sought to increase TB case detection rates for this population through active case finding and rapid molecular diagnostics. We screened 27,714 persons for symptoms of TB and tested 3,830 symptomatic persons by using an algorithm incorporating chest radiography, sputum smear microscopy, culture, and a rapid diagnostic test; 96 (2.5%) cases of TB were detected (prevalence 346 cases/100,000 persons). Of these cases, 5% were multidrug-resistant TB. Use of the rapid diagnostic test and active case finding enabled rapid detection of undiagnosed TB cases in congregate living settings, which would not have otherwise been identified. The burden of TB in the Tibetan exile population in India is extremely high and requires urgent attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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