Incidence and prevalence of tuberculosis among household contacts of pulmonary tuberculosis patients in a peri-urban population of South Delhi, India

Citation: Singh J, Sankar MM, Kumar S, Gopinath K, Singh N, et al. (2013) Incidence and Prevalence of Tuberculosis among Household Contacts of Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients in a Peri-Urban Population of South Delhi, India. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69730. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069730
Published: July 26, 2013

TB_CultureBackground: Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity across all age groups throughout the world, especially in developing countries.
Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study, we have included 432 open index cases with their 1608 household contacts in a prospective cohort study conducted from May 2007 to March 2009. The follow-up period was 2 years. All Index cases were diagnosed on the basis of suggestive signs and symptoms and sputum being AFB positive. Among the 432 index patients, 250 (57.9%) were males and 182 (42.1%) females; with mean age of 34±14.4 yr and 26±11.1 yr, respectively. Out of 1608 household contacts, 866 (53.9%) were males and 742 (46.1%) females; with mean age of 26.5±15.8 and 26.5±16.0 yr, respectively. Of the total 432 households, 304 (70.4%) had ≤4 members and 128 (29.6%) had ≥5 members. The median size of the family was four. Of the 1608 contacts, 1206 were able to provide sputum samples, of whom 83 (6.9%) were found MTB culture positive. Household contacts belonging to adult age group were predominantly (74, 89.2%) infected as compared to the children (9, 10.8%). On screening the contact relationship status with index patients, 52 (62.7%) were first-degree relatives, 18 (34.6%) second-degree relatives and 12 (14.5%) spouses who got infected from their respective index patients. Co-prevalent and incident tuberculosis was found in 52 (4.3%) and 31 (2.6%) contacts, respectively. In incident cases, the diagnosis could be made between 4 to 24 months of follow-up, after their baseline evaluation.
Conclusion: Active household contact investigation is a powerful tool to detect and treat tuberculosis at early stages and the only method to control TB in high-TB-burden countries.

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