Microepidemics of tuberculosis: the stone-in-the-pond principle

Tuber Lung Dis. 1992 Apr;73(2):73-6. doi: 10.1016/0962-8479(92)90058-R.


In a low prevalence country with no systematic BCG vaccination and a low frequency of environmental mycobacterial infections, for each recognized case of tuberculosis or infection with M. tuberculosis source detection should be undertaken. Sometimes this search will lead to discovery of a microepidemic. The extent of contact screening in a microepidemic can easily be determined if observed group prevalences are compared to expected group prevalences. The described method illustrates this search for contacts in concentric circles around the source case: the stone-in-the-pond principle.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Contact Tracing / methods*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology*