COVID-19 and active primary tuberculosis in a low-resource setting: A case report

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2021 Jan 12:62:80-83. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2020.12.052. eCollection 2021 Feb.


Introduction and importance: Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness. But there are few studies that explain the clinical features of COVID-19 patients with active primary tuberculosis. In a low-resource setting, it is difficult to distinguish the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 from other respiratory diseases. Here, we briefly report the first case of COVID-19 with active primary tuberculosis in our low-resource institution.

Case presentation: A fourty two year old diabetic Indonesian male was admitted to emergency department in November 2020 due to vertigo-like dizzines for one week, tension type headache, shivering, cough with sputum, abdominal pain, and night sweats. Xpert MTB-RIF Assay G4 detect Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Bacteria (MTB) without rifampicin resistance, but the Tubex test for antibody IgM anti-O9 was negative. Patient admitted to isolation ward for suspected COVID-19 with separate rooms due to tuberculosis, until 24 hours evaluation of nasopharyng and oropharyng swab test performed. On the second day, the evaluation swab test was positive for COVID-19.

Clinical discussion: Limited or no protection against COVID-19 is one of the problems that leads to co-infection. Now, there is no recommendation treatment for COVID-19 sufferer with tuberculosis co-infection or vice versa. Ventilation support and intensive care for infectious patient must be accessible, yet still unavailable in our institution.

Conclusion: A low resource setting has its own challenges in handling COVID-19. Further studies are needed to address the clinical characteristics, diagnosis and management in COVID-19 patients with active tuberculosis.

Keywords: COVID-19; Case report; Low-resource setting; SARS-Cov-2; Tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports