Contact investigation for active tuberculosis among child contacts in Uganda

Devan Jaganath, Sarah Zalwango, Brenda Okware, Mary Nsereko, Hussein Kisingo, La Shaunda Malone, Christina Lancioni, Alphonse Okwera, Moses Joloba, Harriet Mayanja-Kizza, W. Henry Boom, Catherine Stein, Ezekiel Mupere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background. Tuberculosis is a large source of morbidity and mortality among children. However, limited studies characterize childhood tuberculosis disease, and contact investigation is rarely implemented in high-burden settings. In one of the largest pediatric tuberculosis contact investigation studies in a resource-limited setting, we assessed the yield of contact tracing on childhood tuberculosis and indicators for disease progression in Uganda.Methods. Child contacts aged <15 years in Kampala, Uganda, were enrolled from July 2002 to June 2009 and evaluated for tuberculosis disease via clinical, radiographic, and laboratory methods for up to 24 months.Results. Seven hundred sixty-one child contacts were included in the analysis. Prevalence of tuberculosis in our child population was 10%, of which 71% were culture-confirmed positive. There were no cases of disseminated tuberculosis, and 483 of 490 children (99%) started on isoniazid preventative therapy did not develop disease. Multivariable testing suggested risk factors including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status (odds ratio [OR], 7.90; P <. 001), and baseline positive tuberculin skin test (OR, 2.21; P =. 03); BCG vaccination was particularly protective, especially among children aged ≤5 years (OR, 0.23; P <. 001). Adult index characteristics such as sex, HIV status, and extent or severity of disease were not associated with childhood disease.Conclusions. Contact tracing for children in high-burden settings is able to identify a large percentage of culture-confirmed positive tuberculosis cases before dissemination of disease, while suggesting factors for disease progression to identify who may benefit from targeted screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1685-1692
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • child
  • contact tracing
  • pediatric
  • risk factors
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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