Risk factors associated with recent transmission of tuberculosis: systematic review and meta-analysis

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2009 Jan;13(1):17-26.


A systematic review of published articles was performed to identify risk factors associated with recent transmission of tuberculosis (TB). The computerized search identified studies in PubMed, Ovid, CDSR, CINAHL and EMBASE published between 1994 and 2005. Of 137 articles, 30 satisfied all the inclusion criteria for meta-analysis. A random effects model estimated the odds ratio (OR), confidence interval (CI), and heterogeneity between studies. Recent transmission of TB was associated with: ethnic minority (OR 3.03, 95%CI 2.21- 4.16), being a native of the country (OR 2.33, 95%CI 1.76-3.08), residing in an urban area (OR 1.52, 95%CI 1.35-1.72), drug use (OR 3.01, 95%CI 2.14-4.22), excessive alcohol consumption (OR 2.27, 95%CI 1.69-3.06), homelessness (OR 2.87, 95%CI 2.04-4.02), previous incarceration (OR 2.21, 95%CI 1.71-2.86), human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (OR 1.66, 95%CI 1.36-2.05), young age (OR 2.09, 95%CI 1.69-2.59), sputum smear positivity (OR 1.39, 95%CI 1.20-1.60) and male sex (OR 1.37, 95%CI 1.19-1.58). The results should be useful for improving prevention and control strategies, thus contributing to a reduction in Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis / transmission
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data