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Investigations for tuberculosis contacts: what are the real issues of all the efforts?
  1. Jean-Pierre Zellweger
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jean-Pierre Zellweger, TB Competence Center, Swiss Lung Association, Chutzenstrasse 10, Berne 3000, Switzerland; zellwegerjp{at}

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In Thorax, Cavany et al 1 present the results of an analysis of contact tracing for TB conducted in London between 2012 and 2015, using cohort review data from the London TB Register, and try to identify some characteristics associated with indicators and yield. The study concludes that contacts of cases with smear-positive pulmonary TB are identified with active disease in a much higher proportion than contacts of non-pulmonary cases (4.1% vs 0.7%), that the identification of contacts is less frequent among men and former prisoners than among women and persons who were never imprisoned and that the identification of contacts is more likely if the contacts are examined at the same clinic as the index case. Furthermore, 10% of evaluated children contacts have been identified with latent TB infection.

TB is a transmissible disease, with a slow and unpredictable evolution, from transient …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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