Active case finding in contacts of people with tuberculosis
There is no evidence to determine if screening direct contacts with people diagnosed with TB increases early detection of TB.
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. Authors aimed to determine whether systematic screening all the direct contacts with people with proven TB disease increases the early detection of TB. The review found that there are currently no suitable randomized controlled trials to answer this question. 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.