Tuberculosis and COVID-19 interaction: A review of biological, clinical and public health effects

D. Visca, C. W.M. Ong, S. Tiberi, R. Centis, L. D'Ambrosio, B. Chen, J. Mueller, P. Mueller, R. Duarte, M. Dalcolmo, G. Sotgiu, G. B. Migliori, D. Goletti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Evidence is accumulating on the interaction between tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19. The aim of the present review is to report the available evidence on the interaction between these two infections. Differences and similarities of TB and COVID-19, their immunological features, diagnostics, epidemiological and clinical characteristics and public health implications are discussed. The key published documents and guidelines on the topic have been reviewed. Based on the immunological mechanism involved, a shared dysregulation of immune responses in COVID-19 and TB has been found, suggesting a dual risk posed by co-infection worsening COVID-19 severity and favouring TB disease progression. The available evidence on clinical aspects suggests that COVID-19 happens regardless of TB occurrence either before, during or after an active TB diagnosis. More evidence is required to determine if COVID-19 may reactivate or worsen active TB disease. The role of sequeale and the need for further rehabilitation must be further studied Similarly, the potential role of drugs prescribed during the initial phase to treat COVID-19 and their interaction with anti-TB drugs require caution. Regarding risk of morbidity and mortality, several risk scores for COVID-19 and independent risk factors for TB have been identified: including, among others, age, poverty, malnutrition and co-morbidities (HIV co-infection, diabetes, etc.). Additional evidence is expected to be provided by the ongoing global TB/COVID-19 study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-165
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Health services
  • Impact
  • Interaction
  • Rehabilitation
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Tuberculosis and COVID-19 interaction: A review of biological, clinical and public health effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this