A rapid assessment of prevailing policies on tuberculosis contact investigation

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011 Dec;15(12):1620-3. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.11.0222.


Contact investigation contributes to improving early case detection of tuberculosis (TB). However, its implementation in low-income, high TB burden countries remains limited. A multicountry survey of contact investigation policies was conducted to evaluate the extent of their implementation. Our results showed significant heterogeneity in definitions and procedures, with over 25% of countries unable to provide a clear definition of a contact. Estimates indicate that routine implementation of contact investigation policies globally could help detection of over a quarter of a million cases. International guidelines should be developed to support national TB programmes to initiate and scale up systematic TB contact investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Contact Tracing / methods*
  • Developing Countries
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • National Health Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control