Tuberculosis and tuberculosis/HIV/AIDS-associated mortality in Africa: The urgent need to expand and invest in routine and research autopsies

Mudenda, Victor, Lucas, Sebastian, Shibemba, Aaron, O'Grady, Justin, Bates, Matthew, Kapata, Nathan, Schwank, Samana, Mwaba, Peter, Atun, Rifat, Hoelscher, Michael, Maeurer, Markus and Zumla, Alimuddin (2012) Tuberculosis and tuberculosis/HIV/AIDS-associated mortality in Africa: The urgent need to expand and invest in routine and research autopsies. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 205 (suppl 2). S340-S346. ISSN 0022-1899

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Frequently quoted statistics that tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS are the most important infectious causes of death in high-burden countries are based on clinical records, death certificates, and verbal autopsy studies. Causes of death ascertained through these methods are known to be grossly inaccurate. Most data from Africa on mortality and causes of death currently used by international agencies have come from verbal autopsy studies, which only provide inaccurate estimates of causes of death. Autopsy rates in most sub-Saharan African countries have declined over the years, and actual causes of deaths in the community and in hospitals in most sub-Saharan African countries remain unknown. The quality of cause-specific mortality statistics remains poor. The effect of various interventions to reduce mortality rates can only be evaluated accurately if cause-specific mortality data are available. Autopsy studies could have particular relevance to direct public health interventions, such as vaccination programs or preventive therapy, and could also allow for study of background levels of subclinical tuberculosis disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis–HIV coinfection, and other infectious and noncommunicable diseases not yet clinically manifest. Autopsies performed soon after death may represent a unique opportunity to understand the pathogenesis of M. tuberculosis and the pathogenesis of early deaths after initiation of antiretroviral therapy. The few autopsies performed so far for research purposes have yielded invaluable information and insights into tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and other opportunistic infections. Accurate cause-specific mortality data are essential for prioritization of governmental and donor investments into health services to reduce morbidity and mortality from deadly infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. There is an urgent need for reviving routine and research autopsies in sub-Saharan African countries.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Medical Microbiology (former - to 2018)
Depositing User: Sophie Buckingham
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2013 10:38
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2024 01:36
DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jir859

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item