It is known that in high TB incidence settings the rate of recurrent TB disease is much higher than the rate for first-time disease. It is not clear why the rate of reinfection disease can be elevated compared to the rate of primary disease. We set about attempting to estimate the actual values of the risk of reinfection and the rate of progress to disease for the high-incidence community of Ravensmead-Uitsig in Cape Town.
A significant contributing factor to the high incidence rates of tuberculosis (TB) in countries such as South Africa is the phenomenon of reinfection leading to further disease episodes. Researchers of SACEMA explored the relationship between incidence of TB and reinfection further by constructing a model that simulates the epidemiology of a TB endemic. This article describes the results of this analysis and recommendations based on these.