Active case finding in contacts of people with tuberculosis

Screening programmes for tuberculosis

Gregory J Fox*, Claudia C Dobler, Guy B Marks

Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia

Fox GJ, Dobler CC, Marks GB. Active case finding in contacts of people with tuberculosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD008477.

To read the full review please follow this link: DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008477.pub2.

Tuberculosis is a serious infectious disease that affects over nine million people each year. The disease is spread by airborne droplets, which arise in the infected lungs of tuberculosis patients. Despite widespread availability of treatment with effective antibiotic therapies, the disease remains common in many resource limited settings. This review aimed to determine whether systematic screening all the direct contacts with people with proven TB disease increases the early detection of tuberculosis. The review found that there are not currently any suitable randomized controlled trials to answer this question and there is insufficient evidence to show whether screening programmes for tuberculosis will improve the rate of diagnosis among contacts of tuberculosis patients or reduce the rate of tuberculosis in the community.Therefore there is a need for further research to determine the benefits of systematic screening of the contacts of tuberculosis patients.