Publications & Reports

Tuberculosis contact investigation and short-course preventive therapy among young children in Africa.

Schwoebel V, Koura KG, Adjobimey M, Gnanou S, Wandji AG, Gody JC, Delacourt C, Detjen A, Graham SM, Masserey E, Mselatti P, Roggi A, Trébucq A
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris.


SETTING: The largest cities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Central African Republic.OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the feasibility and document the effectiveness of household contact investigation and preventive therapy in resource-limited settings.DESIGN: Children under 5 years living at home with adults with bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) were screened using questionnaire, clinical examination, tuberculin skin test and chest X-ray. Children free of active TB were offered preventive treatment with a 3-month rifampicin-isoniazid (3RH) or 6-month isoniazid (6H) regimen in Benin. Children were followed-up monthly during treatment, then quarterly over 1 year. Costs of transportation, phone contacts and chest X-rays were covered.RESULTS: A total of 1965 children were enrolled, of whom 56 (2.8%) had prevalent TB at inclusion. Among the 1909 children free of TB, 1745 (91%) started preventive therapy, 1642 (94%) of whom completed treatment. Mild adverse reactions, mostly gastrointestinal, were reported in 2% of children. One case of incident TB, possibly due to a late TB infection, was reported after completing the 3RH regimen.CONCLUSION: Contact investigation and preventive therapy were successfully implemented in these resource-limited urban settings in programmatic conditions with few additional resources. The 3RH regimen is a valuable alternative to 6H for preventing TB.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
  • Published: 01/04/2020
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 4
  • Pagination: 452-460