Table of Contents

December 2010

The risk of tuberculosis (TB) and latent TB is much higher in prison populations than in the general population. Specifically, the average incidence of TB in prisons was found to be 23 times higher than that of the general population, and 26 times higher for latent TB, in a systematic review by Iacopo Baussano (Imperial College, London) and colleagues, published in the December issue of PLoS Medicine. In the review, the authors used findings from published studies and data from the WHO to show that the spread of TB and latent TB within prisons can substantially increase their incidence in the general population. The researchers went on to suggest that improvements in prison TB control would not only help to protect prisoners and staff from within-prison spread of TB, but could also help to reduce national TB burdens.

In an accompanying editorial, the PLoS Medicine Editors discuss the persistent problem of tuberculosis in prisons around the world and how it affects the health of inmates and the community outside, concluding, "The new systematic review published in PLoS Medicine provides much-needed evidence for policymakers, including the WHO, to renew their efforts to tackle TB in prisons...the publication of this systematic review marks a shift from considering the incidence of TB in each prison population to considering the massive global impact of tuberculosis in prisons."

Image Credit: Alexander Lütjen

Health in Action

Participatory Epidemiology: Use of Mobile Phones for Community-Based Health Reporting

Clark C. Freifeld, Rumi Chunara, Sumiko R. Mekaru, Emily H. Chan, Taha Kass-Hout, Anahi Ayala Iacucci, John S. Brownstein

Policy Forum

Toward a Consensus on Guiding Principles for Health Systems Strengthening

Robert C. Swanson, Annette Bongiovanni, Elizabeth Bradley, Varnee Murugan, Jesper Sundewall, Arvind Betigeri, Frank Nyonator, Adriano Cattaneo, Brandi Harless, Andrey Ostrovsky, Ronald Labonté

Research Articles

Tuberculosis Incidence in Prisons: A Systematic Review

Iacopo Baussano, Brian G. Williams, Paul Nunn, Marta Beggiato, Ugo Fedeli, Fabio Scano

Related Articles

Scaling Up the 2010 World Health Organization HIV Treatment Guidelines in Resource-Limited Settings: A Model-Based Analysis

Rochelle P. Walensky, Robin Wood, Andrea L. Ciaranello, A. David Paltiel, Sarah B. Lorenzana, Xavier Anglaret, Adam W. Stoler, Kenneth A. Freedberg, for the CEPAC-International Investigators

Clinical Features and Serum Biomarkers in HIV Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome after Cryptococcal Meningitis: A Prospective Cohort Study

David R. Boulware, David B. Meya, Tracy L. Bergemann, Darin L. Wiesner, Joshua Rhein, Abdu Musubire, Sarah J. Lee, Andrew Kambugu, Edward N. Janoff, Paul R. Bohjanen

Clinical Benefits, Costs, and Cost-Effectiveness of Neonatal Intensive Care in Mexico

Jochen Profit, Diana Lee, John A. Zupancic, LuAnn Papile, Cristina Gutierrez, Sue J. Goldie, Eduardo Gonzalez-Pier, Joshua A. Salomon

Nuclear Receptor Expression Defines a Set of Prognostic Biomarkers for Lung Cancer

Yangsik Jeong, Yang Xie, Guanghua Xiao, Carmen Behrens, Luc Girard, Ignacio I. Wistuba, John D. Minna, David J. Mangelsdorf

A Longitudinal Study of Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Dependence Treatments in Massachusetts and Associated Decreases in Hospitalizations for Cardiovascular Disease

Thomas Land, Nancy A. Rigotti, Douglas E. Levy, Mark Paskowsky, Donna Warner, Jo-Ann Kwass, LeAnn Wetherell, Lois Keithly

Antibiotic Selection Pressure and Macrolide Resistance in Nasopharyngeal Streptococcus pneumoniae: A Cluster-Randomized Clinical Trial

Alison H. Skalet, Vicky Cevallos, Berhan Ayele, Teshome Gebre, Zhaoxia Zhou, James H. Jorgensen, Mulat Zerihun, Dereje Habte, Yared Assefa, Paul M. Emerson, Bruce D. Gaynor, Travis C. Porco, Thomas M. Lietman, Jeremy D. Keenan