Objectives: Longitudinal studies in household contacts to identify subgroups at risk of active tuberculosis are lacking.
Methods: Household contacts of pulmonary tuberculosis patients were prospectively enrolled to receive chest radiography, sputum studies, and T-SPOT.TB assay at initial visit. Repeat examinations every 6 months for 3 years, and 4-month rifampin preventive therapy for T-SPOT.TB-positive contacts were provided. We investigated factors predicting T-SPOT.TB-positivity and active pulmonary tuberculosis.
Results: 583 contacts were enrolled with a follow-up duration of 20.7 ± 9.4 months. 176 (30.2%) were T-SPOT.TB-positive initially and 32 (18.2%) of them received preventive therapy. Old age, living in the same room/house with the index case, the index case having a high smear grade (3+ ∼ 4+) and pulmonary cavitation were associated with T-SPOT.TB-positivity. Active tuberculosis developed in 9 T-SPOT.TB-positive contacts; risk factors included T-SPOT.TB-positivity without preventive therapy, living in the same room, and the index case being ≤50 years or female. 108 (61.4%) T-SPOT.TB-positive contacts had repeat examinations. Forty-five had T-SPOT.TB reversion and none of them developed active tuberculosis.
Conclusion: Household contacts who are T-SPOT.TB-positive and live in the same room as the index case are at risk of active tuberculosis and require preventive therapy and close follow-up.
Copyright © 2011 The British Infection Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.