IJTLD fast-tracked articles

In order to share scientific research of immediate concern as rapidly as possible, The Union is fast-tracking accepted articles from the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) regarding COVID-19 and publishing them in full on our website, prior to their publication in the Journal.

Impact of COVID-19 on TB diagnosis in Northeastern Brazil

Letter to the editors of the IJTLD which maps the impact of COVID-19 on the diagnosis of TB in Brazil.

Impact of COVID-19 on patients with asthma

Letter to the editors of IJTLD exploring the outcomes of patients with asthma in Northern Italy, exploring whether SARS-CoV-2 affected their asthma.

Resource reprioritisation amid competing health risks for TB and COVID-19

Letter to the editors of the IJTLD that highlights health care responses to COVID-19 that might help TB care in the longer term.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the detection of TB in Shanghai, China

Letter to the editors of the IJTLD describing a significant decline in TB detection during the COVID-19 pandemic in Shanghai – highlighting the need for improved programmes to minimise the impact of any future lockdown on the control of TB.

Impact of shelter-in-place on TB case notifications and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic

A letter to the editors of the IJTLD which assesses the impact of lockdown (shelter-in-place orders) on TB case notifications in Uganda. 

How to manage children if a second wave of COVID-19 occurs

A letter to the editors of the IJTLD arguing that we should avoid restrictions on children’s lives during any new waves of COVID-19 – and avoid school closures.

Adapting TB services during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai, India 

A letter to the editors of the IJTLD on adaptations to TB services to ensure continuity of services for RR/MDR-TB during COVID. 

Impact of COVID-19 on TB care: experiences of a treatment centre in Nigeria

Letter to the editors giving an early view into the impact of COVID-19 on TB diagnosis in Nigeria, a high burden setting for TB.

How COVID-19 can instruct TB research: ensuring the safety of researchers exposed to infectious disease

A letter to the editors of the IJTLD which highlights the need to mitigate the risk of researchers being exposed to TB and other airborne pathogens. 

COVID-19 and TB control in immigrant communities

Letter to the editors highlighting the disparity of impact of COVID-19 and TB on immigrant communities and the need to have affordable healthcare. 

How TB and COVID-19 compare: an opportunity to integrate both control programmes

This letter highlights similarities and differences between TB and COVID-19, and proposes that control programmes unite to address both conditions.

Responding to COVID-19: adjusting TB services in a low-burden setting

The Victorian Tuberculosis Program describes how the social and programmatic changes to TB services brought on by COVID-19 have been experienced in practice.

COVID-19 in Africa: community and digital technologies for tuberculosis management

This letter explores the concerns about the negative impact that COVID-19 will have on the fight against tuberculosis in Africa, and the steps that can be taken to respond.

A decrease in tuberculosis evaluations and diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic

This letter looks at the implications and potential consequences of delayed or missed diagnoses for TB, which may increase TB-related hospitalisations and death.

COVID-19 and tuberculosis—threats and opportunities

Editorial highlighting the need to protect TB services, but also to use the opportunities COVID-19 research affords us to achieve a paradigm shift in TB treatment and care.

Severe COVID-19 cases with a history of active or latent tuberculosis

Authors report on symptom development, disease progression and treatment for three cases, each representing a different TB scenario.

Common concerns in managing bronchial asthma during the COVID-19 pandemic

The use of corticosteroids and nebulised bronchodilators in bronchial asthma is a major concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. This letter to the editors looks at several issues that need to be addressed. 

Effect of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and smoking on the outcome of COVID-19

A study investigating the association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, smoking and the potential for poor outcomes in patients with COVID-19.

New devices could transform COVID-19 patient treatment and protect health care workers

Two innovative new devices, a negative pressure procedural tent and a portable helmet device, have the potential to protect healthcare workers and transform the care of COVID-19 patients across the globe. 

COVID-19 in Africa: preparing for the storm

In response to COVD-19, Africa should develop robust collaborative research programmes, funded by African governments and partners, to include epidemiological, health system, implementation, clinical trials, immunological and virological research.

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine and the COVID-19 pandemic: responsible stewardship is needed

Live attenuated BCG is currently the only licensed vaccine to protect against tuberculosis.

Transforming essential services for tuberculosis during the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons from New York City

In response to the surge in COVID-19 cases in New York City (NYC), the NYC Health Department has transformed the way they deliver TB care to patients. 

Successful treatment of patients severely ill with COVID-19

Article describes a prospective observational study to better illustrate the clinical features, treatment challenges and outcomes of patients severely ill with COVID-19 presenting to Suzhou 5th Hospital, Suzhou, China, between January 8 and February 11 2020

Concern over a COVID-19-related BCG shortage

Unnecessary BCG vaccination as a treatment for COVID-19 could lead to a supply shortage for infants, increasing their chances of TB infection and threatening their survival.

Mask wearing to complement social distancing and save lives during COVID-19

Mass wearing of masks would help to maximise the effect of social distancing in slowing down the exponential growth of the epidemic, and allow sufficient time to reinforce our health care facilities and salvage countless lives.  

Impact of COVID-19 on tuberculosis services in India

The impact of COVID-19 on TB services in India, including the availability of key equipment and the safety of health care workers  

Sustaining essential healthcare in Africa during the COVID19 pandemic

In developing a response to the threat of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is stretching hospital services worldwide to their limits, it is easy to lose sight of the importance of essential primary healthcare. 

How to demystify COVID-19 and reduce social stigma

Social stigma is a side effect of conventional contact tracing. The authors describe an health educational approach from Northern Sardinia which could help to reduce stigma and demystify COVID-19. 

Cloth face covers – a sustainable measure to mitigate COVID-19

While surgical masks remain scarce, the authors recommend using cloth masks or other face coverings to reduce the spread of infection to others

Collaboration in TB and COVID-19 control in Moscow

In Moscow the challenge is to recognise the similarities between the TB and COVID-19 epidemics, but also to adapt the medical and socio-economic interventions to address the differences.

Preparing national tuberculosis control programmes for COVID-19

Zimbabwe is an example of a high HIV and TB burden setting that is under threat from COVID-19, and is used to demonstrate how TB control programmes might adapt to COVID-19.

Predictive models for COVID-19-related deaths and infections

A new model is proposed for predicting COVID-19-related deaths and infections that can be easily applied worldwide for making better strategic choices. 

Helping Africa to breathe when COVID-19 strikes

In Africa, alternative equipment solutions should be considered to address the needs of people who become critically ill with respiratory failure.

Serology-positive but minimally symptomatic COVID-19 may still cause lung injury and lung function impairment

Cas report showing that a minimally symptomatic COVID-19 patient may still be contagious, and that the residual lung injury and lung function impairment can last for more than 1 month. Follow-up evaluation is necessary for COVID-19 patients regardless of the severity of symptoms.

Critical changes to services for TB patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

Key adaptations to TB service delivery should be considered in high TB burden settings to support TB patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tackling the threat of COVID-19 in Africa: an urgent need for practical planning

For countries in Africa, to tackle the threat of COVID-19, it will be crucial to quickly develop a practical national plan with clear objectives and strategic interventions.

Monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa: focusing on health facility admissions and deaths

African countries should think ahead to the data that will be needed in their health facilities for monitoring COVID-19 and how best this can be collected. This will go some way to helping health services cope with the pandemic. 

Adapting a TB contact investigation strategy for COVID-19

Contact investigation is an important strategy to detect and isolate infection sources and reduce continuing transmission. In this letter the authors propose a strategy for SARS-CoV-2 screening and contact tracing in settings with low levels of community transmission. 

Impact of COVID-19 on tuberculosis control in China

The changes introduced to combat COVID-19 (i.e. restricted movement and change in role of TB hospitals) are a major barrier to patients with TB symptoms seeking health care, with an inevitable delay in diagnostics. The prolonged time spent indoors further accelerates its transmission among household contacts.

Impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak on the management of other communicable diseases

COVID-19 is increasingly the top differential diagnosis in any person with a fever and/or cough regardless of duration, leading to a prompt chest radiograph and isolation of at-risk patients with testing of SARS CoV-2. While such practices mitigate the outbreak, we urge the medical community not to forget other communicable diseases, where appropriate, in the differential diagnoses of patients.  

New diseases and old threats: lessons from tuberculosis for the COVID-19 response

Complementary COVID-19 and TB responses can assist in curbing both epidemics to save lives. Both diseases can utilise the capacity building efforts, along with surveillance and monitoring systems, programmes and infrastructures, diagnostic tools, case-finding strategies and infection control measures and many other lessons to quickly curb the spread. 

Let us not forget the mask in our attempts to stall the spread of COVID-19

Health authorities worldwide have advised that face masks are somewhat effective in limiting the spread of infection when worn by a person who is infected with COVID-19 but do not protect a person who is not infected. However, authors of this editorial argue that face masks, when used systematically in a community, do help slow the spread of the virus.


Resource reprioritisation amid competing health risks for TB and COVID-19