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Surveillance Open Access
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Abstract

Background

In low tuberculosis (TB) incidence countries, contact investigation (CI) requires not missing contacts with TB infection or disease without unnecessarily evaluating non-infected contacts.

Aim

We assessed whether updated guidelines for the stone-in-the-pond principle and their promotion improved CI practices.

Methods

This retrospective study used surveillance data to compare CI outcomes before (2011–2013) and after (2014–2016) the guideline update and promotion. Using negative binomial regression and logistic regression models, we compared the number of contacts invited for CI per index patient, the number of CI scaled-up according to the stone-in-the-pond principle, the TB and latent TB infection (LTBI) testing coverage, and yield.

Results

Pre and post update, 1,703 and 1,489 index patients were reported, 27,187 and 21,056 contacts were eligible for CI, 86% and 89% were tested for TB, and 0.70% and 0.73% were identified with active TB, respectively. Post update, the number of casual contacts invited per index patient decreased statistically significantly (RR = 0.88; 95% CI: 0.79–0.98), TB testing coverage increased (OR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.2–1.7), and TB yield increased (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.0–3.9). The total LTBI yield increased from 8.8% to 9.8%, with statistically significant increases for casual (OR = 1.2; 95% CI: 1.0–1.5) and community contacts (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.6–3.2). The proportion of CIs appropriately scaled-up to community contacts increased statistically significantly (RR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.3–2.6).

Conclusion

This study shows that promoting evidence-based CI guidelines strengthen the efficiency of CIs without jeopardising effectiveness. These findings support CI is an effective TB elimination intervention.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.45.2001828
2021-11-11
2021-11-28
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.45.2001828
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