Using a mathematical model to evaluate the efficacy of TB control measures

Emerg Infect Dis. Jul-Sep 1997;3(3):335-42. doi: 10.3201/eid0303.970310.


We evaluated the efficacy of recommended tuberculosis (TB) infection control measures by using a deterministic mathematical model for airborne contagion. We examined the percentage of purified protein derivative conversions under various exposure conditions, environmental controlstrategies, and respiratory protective devices. We conclude that environmental control cannot eliminate the risk for TB transmission during high-risk procedures; respiratory protective devices, and particularly high-efficiency particulate air masks, may provide nearly complete protection if used with air filtration or ultraviolet irradiation. Nevertheless, the efficiency of these control measures decreases as the infectivity of the source case increases. Therefore, administrative control measures (e.g., indentifying and isolating patients with infectious TB) are the most effective because they substantially reduce the rate of infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Respiratory Protective Devices
  • Risk Factors
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / prevention & control*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / transmission
  • United States / epidemiology