Resource utilization for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis household contact investigations (A5300/I2003)

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International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease


Current guidelines recommend evaluation of the household contacts (HHCs) of individuals with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB); however, implementation of this policy is challenging.


To describe the resource utilization and operational challenges encountered when identifying and characterizing adult MDR-TB index cases and their HHCs.


Cross-sectional study of adult MDR-TB index cases and HHCs at 16 clinical research sites in eight countries. Site-level resource utilization was assessed with surveys.


Between October 2015 and April 2016, 308 index cases and 1018 HHCs were enrolled. Of 280 index cases with sputum collected, 94 were smear-positive (34%, 95%CI 28-39), and of 201 with chest X-rays, 87 had cavitary disease (43%, 95%CI 37-50) after a mean duration of treatment of 8 weeks. Staff required 512 attempts to evaluate the 308 households, with a median time per attempt of 4 h; 77% (95%CI 73-80) of HHCs were at increased risk for TB: 13% were aged <5 years, 8% were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, and 79% were positive on the tuberculin skin test/interferon-gamma release assay. One hundred and twenty-one previously undiagnosed TB cases were identified. Issues identified by site staff included the complexity of personnel and participant transportation, infection control, personnel safety and management of stigma.


HHC investigations can be high yield, but are labor-intensive.

Swindells S, Gupta A, Kim S, Hughes MD, Sanchez J, Mave V, Dawson R, Kumarasamy N, Comins K, Smith B, Rustomjee R, Naini L, Shah NS, Hesseling A, Churchyard G for the ACTGA5300/IMPAACT 2003 PHOENIx Feasibility Study Team. Resource utilization for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis household contact investigations (A5300/I2003). Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 22(9):1016-1022, 2018 The Union,

  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

  • Frontier Science Foundation, Brookline, Massachusetts.

  • Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

  • Asociación Civil Impacta Salud y Educación, Lima, Peru.

  • Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College Clinical Research Site, Pune, India.

  • University of Cape Town Lung Institute, Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Chennai Antiviral Research and Treatment CRS, Chennai, India.

  • Applied Science CRS, Bellville, South Africa.

  • Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

  • Social & Scientific Systems, Inc, Silver Springs, Maryland.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

  • Desmond Tutu TB Centre, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg.

  • The Aurum Institute, Johannesburg, School of Public Health, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Advancing Care and Treatment for TB and HIV, South African Medical Research Council, Johannesburg, South Africa.