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Free Content Association of prevalence of tuberculin reactions with closeness of contact among household contacts of new smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis patients [Notes from the Field]

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OBJECTIVES: Among household contacts of newly diagnosed smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients, to examine the association of apparent tuberculosis transmission with the closeness and duration of contact.

METHODS: Household contacts of newly diagnosed patients with smear-positive pulmonary TB were identified, as well as a healthy population sample. Household contacts were categorized into three groups based on closeness, regularity, and duration of contact with index cases. All subjects underwent tuberculin testing.

RESULTS: Among the household contacts, 47 of 112 (42%) of very close/intimate contacts had positive tuberculin tests, compared to 121 of 356 (34%) close/regular contacts and 23 of 178 (13%) not close/sporadic contacts and 55 of 355 (16%) of a healthy population sample.

CONCLUSIONS: Even among household contacts of smear-positive pulmonary TB patients, there were major differences in the proximity and duration of contact which were strongly associated with differences in the prevalence of positive tuberculin reactions.
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Keywords: smear-positive; transmission; tuberculin; tuberculosis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Jiyang Research Institute of Tuberculosis Control, Shandong Medical University, Jinan, Shandong, China 2: Department of Histology and Embryology, Shandong Medical University, Jinan, Shandong, China

Publication date: 2000-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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