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Aim: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is a strictly aerobic bacterium that grows fastidiously and slow, which is among the top 10 causes of death globally and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS). Among the deadly diseases ravaging the world, tuberculosis remains one of the commonest and deadliest. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) among the athletes of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State, Nigeria.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Sports Institute, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Nigeria, between June 2012 and July 2015.
Methods: A total of 100 university athletes (51 males and 49 females, the age ranged from 15-47 years) was recruited for this study. Blood samples were collected from the athletes and analyzed for serum IgG antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. OneStep Tuberculosis (TB) rapid test was used for the detection of TB antibody (Isotypes IgG, IgM and IgA) in whole blood samples from the subjects. Commercially available ELISA based kits (manufactured by Dia.Pro, Milano, Italy) were also used.
Results: The seropositivity of TB among the athletes was 5.0%. The result of the study showed that male athletes had a higher prevalence of tuberculosis than their female counterpart (5.9% vs 4.1%). Subsequently, the age groups 15-25 years had a higher prevalence of tuberculosis (6.5%) compared to age groups 26 years and above (2.6%). A significant association existed between the athletes' ages and TB prevalence (p= 0.035) and none existed with gender (p=0.654).
Conclusion: This study confirms the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific antibodies among university athletes. Strict surveillance of the diseases is highly recommended to curb its spread and the potential increase in Multidrug-resistance tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and Extensively drug-resistance Tuberculosis (XDR-TB) as it is highly contagious.