Drop-out from the tuberculosis contact investigation cascade in a routine public health setting in urban Uganda: A prospective, multi-center study

Mari Armstrong-Hough, Patricia Turimumahoro, Amanda J. Meyer, Emmanuel Ochom, Diana Babirye, Irene Ayakaka, David Mark, Joseph Ggita, Adithya Cattamanchi, David Dowdy, Frank Mugabe, Elizabeth Fair, Jessica E. Haberer, Achilles Katamba, J. Lucian Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Setting: Seven public tuberculosis (TB) units in Kampala, Uganda, where Uganda’s national TB program recently introduced household contact investigation, as recommended by 2012 guidelines from WHO. Objective: To apply a cascade analysis to implementation of household contact investigation in a programmatic setting. Design: Prospective, multi-center observational study. Methods: We constructed a cascade for household contact investigation to describe the proportions of: 1) index patient households recruited; 2) index patient households visited; 3) contacts screened for TB; and 4) contacts completing evaluation for, and diagnosed with, active TB. Results: 338 (33%) of 1022 consecutive index TB patients were eligible for contact investigation. Lay health workers scheduled home visits for 207 (61%) index patients and completed 104 (50%). Among 287 eligible contacts, they screened 256 (89%) for symptoms or risk factors for TB. 131 (51%) had an indication for further TB evaluation. These included 59 (45%) with symptoms alone, 58 (44%) children <5, and 14 (11%) with HIV. Among 131 contacts found to be symptomatic or at risk, 26 (20%) contacts completed evaluation, including five (19%) diagnosed with and treated for active TB, for an overall yield of 1.7%. The cumulative conditional probability of completing the entire cascade was 5%. Conclusion: Major opportunities exist for improving the effectiveness and yield of TB contact investigation by increasing the proportion of index households completing screening visits by lay health workers and the proportion of at-risk contacts completing TB evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0187145
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contact Tracing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Prospective Studies
  • Public Health Practice
  • Tuberculosis/epidemiology
  • Uganda/epidemiology
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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