A review of tuberculosis research in malaysia

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One hundred seventy four articles related to tuberculosis were found in a search through a database dedicated to indexing all original data relevant to medicine published in Malaysia between the years 2000-2013. One hundred fifty three articles were selected and reviewed on the basis of clinical relevance and future research implications. Topics related to epidemiology, clinical presentation, detection methods and treatment were well researched. However, limited information was available on screening and behavioural interventions. The younger population were more vulnerable to tuberculosis infection and had higher prevalence of risk factors that reactivate tuberculosis infection. Screening of tuberculosis was conducted primarily on healthcare workers, tuberculosis contacts, prisoners and foreign workers. Data on the clinical presentation of pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis was comprehensive. There was a general focus on related risk factors such as HIV and diabetes mellitus. A great degree of information was available on the treatment and various detection methods to identify tuberculosis. The efficacy and the practicality of investigative methods was analysed in this review. In conclusion, the direction of research should be aimed at novel preventive and control measures of tuberculosis. There should be emphasis on the screening of high risk groups (other than HIV) within the population namely diabetic patients, smokers and immunosuppressed individuals. The design of health policies should be guided by information gathered from research evaluation of communitybased behavioural interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-102
Number of pages15
JournalMedical Journal of Malaysia
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Extra pulmonary tuberculosis
  • HIV
  • Latent tuberculosis
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Risk factors

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