Assessing the role of micro-nutrient deficiency and immune system dysfunction among HIV-positive adults with pulmonary Tuberculosis at a public health facility in Uganda

Louis Kamulegeya’s study aims to assess how the micronutrient status among HIV-positive tuberculosis (TB) patients correlates with the severity of symptoms, diagnostic outcome and response to TB treatment at a public health facility in Uganda. 

His research hopes to draw correlates between the severity and duration of Tuberculosis symptoms among HIV positives with individual micro-nutrient levels and how this may affect sputum conversion while on treatment. He also aims to understand how these micronutrient variations among HIV-positive patients may affect biomarkers of the immune response. 

Micronutrient deficiencies among immuno-suppressed TB patients remain under-studied, especially in TB endemic settings like Uganda where both TB and mal-nutrition are a double trouble. Understanding micro-nutrient changes among immuno-suppressed TB patients will be critical in nutrition programme supplementation within this sub-population. 

Malnutrition remains a major risk factor for TB, especially among the poor, elderly, and children, yet nutritional programming and service delivery are not well integrated with TB care and treatment at many, if not all, health facilities in Uganda. Going beyond weight and height measurement to understanding how micronutrients which are a major predictor of immune response vary among TB patients, especially the HIV positives, will help inform on the adjuvant treatment needed within this sub-population. Thus, governments and partners rolling out nutrition programmes and research have a role to play in understanding these correlates. 

SANTHE is an Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) flagship programme funded by the Science for Africa Foundation through the DELTAS Africa programme; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gilead Sciences Inc.; and the Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard.