Tuberculosis case notifications and outcomes in Peruvian prisons prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a national-level interrupted time series analysis

Lena Faust, Guillermo Caceres-Cardenas, Leonardo Martinez, Sophie Huddart, Julia Rios Vidal, Ronald Corilloclla-Torres, Mayra Cordova Ayllon, Andrea Benedetti, Madhukar Pai, César Ugarte-Gil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted tuberculosis (TB) programs, making it urgent to focus TB elimination efforts on key populations. People experiencing incarceration are at high risk for TB, however, how COVID-19-related disruptions have impacted incarcerated populations with TB is unknown. Methods: Using Peruvian National TB Program data from Jan 2018 to Dec 2021, an interrupted time series of drug-susceptible (DS) TB case notifications pre- and during COVID-19 was conducted (cut-off date: COVID-19 emergency declaration in Peru, 16 March 2020). The effect of TB care occurring pre-vs. during COVID-19 on TB treatment success in the incarcerated and non-incarcerated populations was explored using logistic regression. Findings: DS-TB cases notified in prisons from Jan 2018 to Dec 2021 (n = 10,134) represented 10% of all cases notified in the country (n = 101,507). In the first week of COVID-19, DS-TB case notifications dropped by 61.2% (95% CI: 59.9–62.7%) in the non-incarcerated population and 17.7% (95% CI: 17.5–17.9%) among the incarcerated population. TB treatment success was significantly lower in people receiving TB care entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic vs. before COVID-19 in the non-incarcerated population (OR: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.78–0.85), but not statistically significantly lower in the incarcerated population (OR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.76–1.01). Incarceration status was not found to modify the effect of COVID-19 period on TB treatment outcomes (OR: 1.07, 95% CI: 0.92–1.25), although treatment success was higher in the incarcerated population (OR [incarcerated vs. not incarcerated, pre-COVID]: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.39–1.67). Interpretation: Both incarcerated and non-incarcerated populations experienced a large drop in DS-TB case notifications (although higher in the non-incarcerated population). Lower TB treatment success among those receiving care during COVID-19 indicates significant TB service disruptions in the overall population. The finding that incarceration at time of diagnosis was associated with treatment success is plausible in Peru given increased screening and stricter treatment monitoring in prisons. Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Funding Reference Number: 179418).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100723
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Americas
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • Epidemiology
  • Incarcerated populations
  • Peru
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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