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The (In)significance of TB and COVID-19 Co-infection

Published time:08 June 2020

Authors: Alkesh Kumar Khurana, Deepak Aggarwal

Keywords: Covid-19, pulmonary, mortality, TB.


We read with great interest the research letter by Tadolini et al in which they have published the first cohort of 49 cases of TB and COVID-19 co-infection. However, few issues regarding the letter need to be addressed. The authors categorized the patients of TB and COVID-19 co-infection into 3 groups based on timing of their diagnosis.1 However, in view of the difference in the natural history of TB (chronic course) and COVID-19 (acute), categorizing 14 patients as having COVID-19 prior to TB (median time interval of 4 days between the two diagnosis) and 9 as diagnosed simultaneously (within the same week) seems inappropriate. Since TB has an insidious onset, it is obvious that TB was present before COVID-19 infection in both the subgroups, although the diagnosis was made at different times. In fact, it may be right to say that all the 3 subgroups actually constitute a single group of old/active TB patients who developed COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 has probably just unmasked some of the subtle active TB cases which were responsible for hidden transmission in the general population. Superimposed COVID-19 has brought them to the hospital to get a timely diagnosis

The (in)significance of TB and COVID-19 co-infection



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