The role of livestock keeping in tuberculosis trends in Arusha, Tanzania
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SETTING: Arusha, Tanzania.
OBJECTIVE: To assess risk factors that might influence TB control in the general population and in livestock-keepers.
METHODS: Of 242 villages in four districts, 27 were selected randomly. In each village, a general and a livestock-keeping group were selected at random. The households were home-visited and 426 family members were interviewed.
RESULTS: On average, three-quarters of households practised at least one risk activity for transmission of zoonotic tuberculosis, and respondents had poor knowledge about tuberculosis. In the livestock-keeping group, the risks of having a tuberculosis patient in the family were determined by poor ventilation (OR 2.6, 95%CI 1.1–6.5), confining livestock indoors with people (OR 2.3, 95%CI 1.1–5.0) and multiple determinants including poor ventilation (OR 13.5, 95%CI 2.5–71.7). Risk activities and the risks of having a tuberculosis patient in a family were significantly higher in the livestock-keeping group.
CONCLUSIONS: The respondents had limited knowledge about tuberculosis, and the households had practices that posed potential risks for both human and bovine tuberculosis infection. Poor ventilation and confining livestock indoors were associated with tuberculosis spread in the households. These risks were observed more in the livestock-keeping group than in the general population group.