COVID-19 and Chronic Diabetes: The Perfect Storm for Reactivation Tuberculosis?

A Case Series

Genesis P. Aguillón-Durán; Ericka Prieto-Martínez; Doris Ayala; Juan García Jr.; John M. Thomas III; Juan Ignacio García; Brandon Michael Henry; Jordi B. Torrelles; Joanne Turner; Eder Ledezma-Campos; Blanca I. Restrepo


J Med Case Reports. 2021;15(621) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is predicted to have a net negative effect on tuberculosis control, with an estimated excess of 6.3 million tuberculosis cases and 1.4 million deaths by 2025. Programmatic issues such as the lockdown of tuberculosis services affect all patients, while biosocial factors have a differential impact on an individual's risk for tuberculosis or adverse tuberculosis outcomes.

Case Presentation: We report three Hispanic cases of incident tuberculosis (two males, 43 and 44 years old; one female, 49 years old) after resolution of coronavirus disease episodes. Coincidentally, all cases shared a common risk factor: a chronic history poorly controlled diabetes.

Conclusions: Our findings alert to the threat posed by the synergy between coronavirus disease and diabetes, on tuberculosis reactivation. In medium- to high-risk settings for tuberculosis, we recommend implementation of routine screening for latent tuberculosis infection in these cases, and preventive tuberculosis treatment in those who are positive.