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Tuberculosis contacts screening
PDPI Sulawesi Selatan & Utara, 08 Feb 2018 14:33:32

Cátia Araújo, João Eusébio, Daniel Duarte, Natália André, Paula Raimundo and António Domingos
Pulmonology, Centro Hospitalar do Oeste - Torres Vedras, Torres Vedras, Portugal


Introduction: The screening of contacts of patients with recent tuberculosis diagnosis is an essential component of disease containment as it allows the early detection and treatment of new tuberculosis cases and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI).
Portugal is still a medium incidence country and the Portuguese guidelines recommend the screening of all contacts of recently diagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis through symptoms evaluation, TST and chest x-ray. The recommended treatment for LTBI is isoniazid for 9 months.

Aim: To evaluate the risk of tuberculosis transmission between index cases and their contacts, their conditioning factors, as well the efficacy of contact screening and LTBI treatment in a Portuguese ambulatory tuberculosis center.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients recently diagnosed with bacilliferous pulmonary tuberculosis and their contacts, in a Portuguese ambulatory tuberculosis center, between 2011 and 2013.

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138 contacts were identified accounting for 23 bacilliferous pulmonary tuberculosis cases. None had evidence of active tuberculosis, 64 (46.4%) had no evidence of LTBI and 74 (53.6%) had criteria of LTBI. Among these, 38 (51.4%) completed treatment and there is no record of active illness to date. In the remaining 36 patients, 30 patients were lost in follow-up and 6 (16.7%) developed active pulmonary tuberculosis. All of these patients were over 6 years-old and previously healthy. The majority of the index cases related to these new cases had pulmonary cavitations and were highly bacilliferous.

Conclusions: The contact screening is effective when treatment is done and is the way to prevent new cases of tuberculosis.