Tuberculosis: what is the yield of associate investigations in non-BCG-immunized children with positive tuberculin skin tests?

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2005 Mar;9(3):322-7.


Setting: Urban county health department in Tarrant County, Texas, USA.

Objective: To determine the yield of associate investigations in non-bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) immunized children with positive tuberculin skin tests (TSTs).

Design: We compared the results of associate investigations of the contacts of 38 TST-positive, non-BCG-immunized pre-school children with the results of contact investigations of 290 culture-confirmed persons with tuberculosis (TB).

Results: Associate investigations were more likely than contact investigations to identify persons with culture-confirmed TB and positive TSTs. Contacts identified through associate investigation of non-BCG-immunized pre-school children were 9.4 (95%CI 4.2-22.5) times more likely to have culture-confirmed TB and 2.3 (95%CI 2.0-2.7) times more likely to have positive TSTs than contacts of persons with culture-confirmed TB.

Conclusion: While conducting associate investigations is labor intensive, these data indicate that associate investigation of pre-school non-BCG-immunized children should be assigned priority in TB control activities, at least equal to the importance of investigating the contacts of culture-proven TB.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • BCG Vaccine*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Tuberculin Test*
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control*
  • Urban Population
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • BCG Vaccine