Abstract

Background:Tuberculosis (TB) remains an actual cause of morbidity and mortality in Greece.
Aims/Objectives:The aim of this study was to assess TB treatment outcome (based on the new WHO definitions) according to date of diagnosis (before or during the COVID-19 pandemic) and country of origin. Positive outcome was defined as cure and completion of treatment and negative outcome as lost to follow up, failure and not evaluated. Death was assessed separately.
Methods:Patients registered at the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, during the period 2018-2021, were retrospectively studied.
Results:102 patients (45 before and 57 during the pandemic) of mean age 44.8 21.8 years were included. 15 were women and 87 men. 45 were Greeks, 12 of other European and 45 of non-European origin. Before the pandemic (2018 and 2019), 32 patients (62.5%) had positive outcome, 15 (29.4%) negative and 4 (7.8%) died, whereas in 2020 and 2021, positive outcome was noted in 28 (54.9%), negative in 20 (39.2%) and 3 patients (5.9%) died (p=0.66). Greeks have a positive outcome rate of 66.7%, Europeans 83.3%, while non-Europeans 44.4%. Negative outcome rate was 17.8% for Greek, 16.7% for European and 55.6% for non-European patients (p<0.001). Greek patients had the highest mortality rate (15.6%), with both other groups having 0 deaths.
Conclusion:The COVID pandemic did not affect treatment outcomes significantly, as some members of staff worked exclusively on TB. Country of origin significantly affected outcome with patients of non-European origin presenting with the highest negative outcome rate. This observation can be attributed to the lack of social and/or familial support.