BREAKING! Turkey Medical Researchers Based On Actual Clinical Case Reports Warn That COVID-19 Is Reactivating Dormant Tuberculosis In Individuals Including Children!
: Researchers from Necmettin Erbakan University-Turkey and the Meram Medical Faculty Hospital-Turkey are warning that based on actual clinical case studies and reports of pediatric patients in their hospital, they are witnessing cases of dormant tuberculosis being reactivated in individuals including children as a result of a COVID-19 infection.
The COVID-19 disease is a viral disease caused by a novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that can lead to severe acute respiratory failure.
Recent studies have shown that aggravating factors in the etiology of COVID-19 disease include genetic defects and autoantibodies against type 1 interferon.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an immobile aerobic bacillus that causes tuberculosis disease. SARS-CoV-2 infection and immunosuppressive drugs may temporarily inhibit immunologic system, then may lead to active tuberculosis by reactivation or infection of M. tuberculosis.
study team aimed to show that there is a relationship between COVID-19 infection and an increase in the number of tuberculosis patients.
A total of eight pediatric patients diagnosed with tuberculosis in the Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Clinics of Necmettin Erbakan University, Meram Medical Faculty between March 2020 and May 2021 were enrolled in this study.
The presence of COVID-19 infection was confirmed by COVID-19 antibody test and patient’s detailed medical history. The patient with negative antibody test was also included in the study if other family members confirmed for COVID-19 infection by RT-PCR.
The study team evaluated demographic data, laboratory findings, imaging tests and pathology results of all patients.
The remarkable but alarming increase in the number of tuberculosis activation in the recent year suggests the role of COVID-19 infection.
The study team notes that the pathologic structure of the virus may be responsible of the increase, although the mechanism is not fully understood. They insist that further detailed research should be done on this topic.
The study findings were published in a preprint platform for researchers. https://www.authorea.com/doi/full/10.22541/au.163800231.17635204/v1
Past published studies have shown that the correlation between viral infections by viruses such as SARS, MERS, H1N1 and the reactivation of tuberculosis during certain pandemic periods.
These studies showed that cellular immunity associated with these infections temporarily suppressed and the manifestation of reactivation of latent tuberculosis or a new TB infection occurring. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3294680/
However, to date, there is no studies with regards to SARS-CoV-2 and the correlation with Tuberculosis.
The study team conducted a retrospective study in their clinic and found that the number of patients diagnosed with TB had increased. Examination of the number of children diagnosed with TB in the pediatric pulmonology and pediatric infectious disease clinics at our hospital by year between 2017 and 2021 shows that three pediatric patients were diagnosed with tuberculosis and received treatment in 2017, four in 2018, eight in 2019, and 23 in 2020- April 2021.
When the study team scanned the number of pediatric patients diagnosed with tuberculosis in Konya by years, they found that 21 children were diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2017, 21 children in 2018, 27 children in 2019, 33 children in 2020, and 13 children until April 2021. Despite the decrease in the child population in Konya, there was a remarkable increase in the number of pediatric tuberculosis cases.
Co-researchers Dr Sevgi Pekcan from Necmettin Erbakan University told Thailand Medical News
, “The alarming increase in the number of tuberculosis activation in the recent year suggests the role of COVID-19 infection. The clinical findings of the respiratory diseases that are secondary to infections progress similar to TB. Therefore, the diagnosis of TB may easily be missed. Since TB is a slowly progressing infection, there may be delays in diagnosis. It has been observed that latent TB infection can be activated even if the COVID-19 infection is mild in children. COVID-19 infection is not as a mild infection as it seems for children either.”
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