contact tracing


Summary: Identification of those persons (or animals) who have had such an association with an infected person, animal, or contaminated environment as to have had the opportunity to acquire the infection. Contact tracing is a generally accepted method for the control of sexually transmitted diseases.

Top Publications

  1. Singla N, Singla R, Jain G, Habib L, Behera D. Tuberculosis among household contacts of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Delhi, India. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011;15:1326-30 pubmed publisher
    ..The majority of contacts of MDR-TB patients had drug-susceptible TB and the rate of MDRTB was very low. Evaluation of contacts of MDR-TB cases may lead to early diagnosis and prevention of TB. ..
  2. Blower S, Go M. The importance of including dynamic social networks when modeling epidemics of airborne infections: does increasing complexity increase accuracy?. BMC Med. 2011;9:88 pubmed publisher
    ..Specifically, the most detailed contact network and a simplified version of this network generated very similar results. These results are extremely interesting and require further exploration to determine their generalizability. ..
  3. Lau L, Nishiura H, Kelly H, Ip D, Leung G, Cowling B. Household transmission of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Epidemiology. 2012;23:531-42 pubmed publisher
    ..Transmission of the 2009 pandemic virus in households appeared to vary among countries and settings, with differences in estimates of the secondary infection risk also partly due to differences in study designs. ..
  4. Singh S, Singh J, Kumar S, Gopinath K, Balooni V, Singh N, et al. Poor performance of serological tests in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis: evidence from a contact tracing field study. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e40213 pubmed publisher
    ..127). The agreement between serology and Mantoux test was not significant. The commercial serological test evaluated showed poor sensitivity and specificity and suggests no utility for detection of pulmonary tuberculosis. ..
  5. Mulder C, Van Deutekom H, Huisman E, Meijer Veldman W, Erkens C, van Rest J, et al. Coverage and yield of tuberculosis contact investigations in the Netherlands. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011;15:1630-7 pubmed publisher
    ..5% vs. 0.4%, POR 3.4, 95%CI 1.8-6.4) and infection (13% vs. 10%, POR 1.2, 95%CI 1.0-1.5). The effectiveness of contact investigations in the Netherlands can be optimised by expanding the investigation of contacts of immigrant patients. ..
  6. Lönnroth K, Corbett E, Golub J, Godfrey Faussett P, Uplekar M, Weil D, et al. Systematic screening for active tuberculosis: rationale, definitions and key considerations. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2013;17:289-98 pubmed publisher
    ..In this article, we present the rationale, definitions and key considerations underpinning this process. ..
  7. Melegaro A, Jit M, Gay N, Zagheni E, Edmunds W. What types of contacts are important for the spread of infections?: using contact survey data to explore European mixing patterns. Epidemics. 2011;3:143-51 pubmed publisher
    ..We observe similar patterns in each of the countries analysed, suggesting that there are consistent biological mechanisms at work...
  8. Thind D, Charalambous S, Tongman A, Churchyard G, Grant A. An evaluation of 'Ribolola': a household tuberculosis contact tracing programme in North West Province, South Africa. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2012;16:1643-8 pubmed publisher
    ..TB preventive therapy (TBPT) initiation and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnoses from household TB contact tracing. Retrospective programme analysis...
  9. Smieszek T, Burri E, Scherzinger R, Scholz R. Collecting close-contact social mixing data with contact diaries: reporting errors and biases. Epidemiol Infect. 2012;140:744-52 pubmed publisher
    ..We estimated that the probability of forgetting a contact of ?5 min duration is greater than 50%. Furthermore, the number of forgotten contacts appears to be proportional to the total number of contacts. ..

More Information


  1. Armbruster B, Helleringer S, Kalilani Phiri L, Mkandawire J, Kohler H. Exploring the relative costs of contact tracing for increasing HIV case finding in sub-Saharan countries. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011;58:e29-36 pubmed publisher
    b>Contact tracing (CT) has rarely been used to improve HIV case finding in sub-Saharan Africa because of concerns regarding privacy protection and possibly high costs...
  2. van der Werf M, Langendam M, Sandgren A, Manissero D. Lack of evidence to support policy development for management of contacts of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients: two systematic reviews. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2012;16:288-96 pubmed publisher
    ..The available evidence is not sufficient to support or reject preventive treatment. Furthermore, the combined available evidence is of very low quality. ..
  3. Lin H, He N, Ding Y, Qiu D, Zhu W, Liu X, et al. Tracing sexual contacts of HIV-infected individuals in a rural prefecture, Eastern China. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:533 pubmed publisher
    b>Contact tracing is especially useful for identifying an infection with few cases in the population, such as HIV in China. Little such research is available in China...
  4. Diel R, Loytved G, Nienhaus A, Castell S, Detjen A, Geerdes Fenge H, et al. [New recommendations for contact tracing in tuberculosis]. Gesundheitswesen. 2011;73:369-88 pubmed publisher
    In 2007, the German Central Committee against Tuberculosis (DZK) published recommendations for contact tracing that introduced the new interferon gamma release assays (IGRAs)...
  5. Anger H, Proops D, Harris T, Li J, Kreiswirth B, Shashkina E, et al. Active case finding and prevention of tuberculosis among a cohort of contacts exposed to infectious tuberculosis cases in New York City. Clin Infect Dis. 2012;54:1287-95 pubmed publisher
    ..Contact investigation facilitates active case finding and tuberculosis prevention, even when completion rates of chemoprophylaxis are suboptimal. ..
  6. Ospina J, Orcau A, Millet J, Sanchez F, Casals M, Cayla J. Community health workers improve contact tracing among immigrants with tuberculosis in Barcelona. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:158 pubmed publisher
    ..This study evaluates the effectiveness of intervention with community health workers (CHW) to improve contact tracing among immigrants...
  7. Hwang T, Ottmani S, Uplekar M. A rapid assessment of prevailing policies on tuberculosis contact investigation. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011;15:1620-3 pubmed publisher
    ..International guidelines should be developed to support national TB programmes to initiate and scale up systematic TB contact investigation. ..
  8. Henley C, Forgwei G, Welty T, Golden M, Adimora A, Shields R, et al. Scale-up and case-finding effectiveness of an HIV partner services program in Cameroon: an innovative HIV prevention intervention for developing countries. Sex Transm Dis. 2013;40:909-14 pubmed publisher
    ..An average 3.2 index cases needed to be interviewed to identify 1 HIV case. HIV PS can be successfully implemented in a developing country and is highly effective in identifying persons with HIV infection and linking them to care. ..
  9. Pothukuchi M, Nagaraja S, Kelamane S, Satyanarayana S, Shashidhar -, Babu S, et al. Tuberculosis contact screening and isoniazid preventive therapy in a South Indian district: operational issues for programmatic consideration. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e22500 pubmed publisher
    ..Contact screening and IPT implementation under routine programmatic conditions is sub-optimal. There is an urgent need to sensitize all concerned programme staff on its importance and establishment of mechanisms for rigorous monitoring. ..
  10. Fox G, Dobler C, Marks G. Active case finding in contacts of people with tuberculosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;:CD008477 pubmed publisher
  11. Gift T, Kissinger P, Mohammed H, Leichliter J, Hogben M, Golden M. The cost and cost-effectiveness of expedited partner therapy compared with standard partner referral for the treatment of chlamydia or gonorrhea. Sex Transm Dis. 2011;38:1067-73 pubmed publisher
    ..Individual payers may find EPT to be more costly than SR, depending on how many of their patients' partners receive care from the same payer. ..
  12. Kranzer K, Lawn S, Meyer Rath G, Vassall A, Raditlhalo E, Govindasamy D, et al. Feasibility, yield, and cost of active tuberculosis case finding linked to a mobile HIV service in Cape Town, South Africa: a cross-sectional study. PLoS Med. 2012;9:e1001281 pubmed publisher
    ..Further work is now required to examine cost-effectiveness and affordability and whether and how the same results may be achieved at scale. ..
  13. Dobler C. What do we know about the outcomes of tuberculosis contact investigations in NSW?. N S W Public Health Bull. 2013;24:34-7 pubmed publisher
    ..In particular, the paper focuses on the challenges of tuberculin skin test interpretation among contacts who have received Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination and who were born in countries where tuberculosis is endemic. ..
  14. Ferreira A, Young T, Mathews C, Zunza M, Low N. Strategies for partner notification for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;:CD002843 pubmed publisher
    ..More high-quality RCTs of PN strategies for HIV and syphilis, using biological outcomes, are needed. ..
  15. Eames K, Tilston N, Brooks Pollock E, Edmunds W. Measured dynamic social contact patterns explain the spread of H1N1v influenza. PLoS Comput Biol. 2012;8:e1002425 pubmed publisher
    ..Changes in social mixing patterns can be usefully measured through simple internet-based surveys. ..
  16. Kretzschmar M, Satterwhite C, Leichliter J, Berman S. Effects of screening and partner notification on Chlamydia positivity in the United States: a modeling study. Sex Transm Dis. 2012;39:325-31 pubmed publisher
    ..Increased PN and treatment reduced reinfection rates considerably. Increasing efforts in PN may contribute at least as much to control of chlamydia infection as increasing screening coverage rates. ..
  17. Chen S, You S, Ling M, Chio C, Liao C. Use of seasonal influenza virus titer and respiratory symptom score to estimate effective human contact rates. J Epidemiol. 2012;22:353-63 pubmed
    ..The present findings can be incorporated into population-dynamic models of influenza transmission among schoolchildren. ..
  18. Jewell C, Roberts G. Enhancing Bayesian risk prediction for epidemics using contact tracing. Biostatistics. 2012;13:567-79 pubmed publisher advancement in Bayesian inference for epidemics that assimilates these data and is robust to partial contact tracing. Using a simulation study based on the British poultry industry, we show how the presence of CTD improves ..
  19. Lohmann E, Koster B, le Cessie S, Kamst van Agterveld M, van Soolingen D, Arend S. Grading of a positive sputum smear and the risk of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2012;16:1477-84 pubmed publisher
    After the diagnosis of a case of tuberculosis (TB), contact tracing is directed by the risk of transmission, for which sputum acid-fast bacilli (AFB) staining results are highly relevant...
  20. Fumanelli L, Ajelli M, Manfredi P, Vespignani A, Merler S. Inferring the structure of social contacts from demographic data in the analysis of infectious diseases spread. PLoS Comput Biol. 2012;8:e1002673 pubmed publisher
    ..This study provides a numerical approach for the generation of human mixing patterns that can be used to improve the accuracy of mathematical models in the absence of specific experimental data. ..
  21. Hornbeck T, Naylor D, Segre A, Thomas G, Herman T, Polgreen P. Using sensor networks to study the effect of peripatetic healthcare workers on the spread of hospital-associated infections. J Infect Dis. 2012;206:1549-57 pubmed publisher
    ..Our goal is to determine the impact of hand hygiene noncompliance among peripatetic (eg, highly mobile or highly connected) healthcare workers compared with less-connected workers...
  22. Mizumoto K, Nishiura H, Yamamoto T. Effectiveness of antiviral prophylaxis coupled with contact tracing in reducing the transmission of the influenza A (H1N1-2009): a systematic review. Theor Biol Med Model. 2013;10:4 pubmed publisher identified 17 articles that clearly defined the cases and identified exposed individuals based on contact tracing. Analysing a specific school-driven outbreak, we estimated the effectiveness of antiviral prophylaxis using a ..
  23. Mizumoto K, Ejima K, Yamamoto T, Nishiura H. Vaccination and clinical severity: is the effectiveness of contact tracing and case isolation hampered by past vaccination?. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013;10:816-29 pubmed publisher
    While contact tracing and case isolation are considered as the first choice of interventions against a smallpox bioterrorist event, their effectiveness under vaccination is questioned, because not only susceptibility of host and ..
  24. Brown L, Miller W, Kamanga G, Nyirenda N, Mmodzi P, Pettifor A, et al. HIV partner notification is effective and feasible in sub-Saharan Africa: opportunities for HIV treatment and prevention. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011;56:437-42 pubmed
    ..Partner notification will increase early referral to care and facilitate risk reduction among high-risk uninfected partners. ..
  25. Firestone S, Ward M, Christley R, Dhand N. The importance of location in contact networks: Describing early epidemic spread using spatial social network analysis. Prev Vet Med. 2011;102:185-95 pubmed publisher
    ..Linking the spatial and network analysis of epidemics facilitates inference of the methods of disease transmission, providing a description of the sequence of spatial cluster formation. ..
  26. Guzzetta G, Ajelli M, Yang Z, Merler S, Furlanello C, Kirschner D. Modeling socio-demography to capture tuberculosis transmission dynamics in a low burden setting. J Theor Biol. 2011;289:197-205 pubmed publisher
  27. Stehlé J, Voirin N, Barrat A, Cattuto C, Colizza V, Isella L, et al. Simulation of an SEIR infectious disease model on the dynamic contact network of conference attendees. BMC Med. 2011;9:87 pubmed publisher
    ..These results have important implications for understanding the level of detail needed to correctly inform computational models for the study and management of real epidemics. Please see related article BMC Medicine, 2011, 9:88. ..
  28. Rutherford M, Hill P, Maharani W, Apriani L, Sampurno H, van Crevel R, et al. Risk factors for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in Indonesian children living with a sputum smear-positive case. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2012;16:1594-9 pubmed publisher
    ..45). M. tuberculosis infection according to either test was high, supporting screening and preventive treatment. Children of smear-positive TB cases who accompany their parents to the clinic should be prioritised for immediate screening. ..
  29. Vest J, Valadez A, Hanner A, Lee J, Harris P. Using e-mail to notify pseudonymous e-mail sexual partners. Sex Transm Dis. 2007;34:840-5 pubmed
    ..If this avenue is not utilized, public health agencies may be unable to intervene with a potentially growing percentage of at-risk persons. ..
  30. Doherty I. Sexual networks and sexually transmitted infections: innovations and findings. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2011;24:70-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The diversity of findings in a diversity of settings demonstrates that not all networks operate in similar ways. ..
  31. Cameron S, Melvin L, Glasier A, Scott G, Johnstone A, Young H. Willingness of gynaecologists, doctors in family planning, GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists to adopt novel interventions for treating sexual partners of women with chlamydia. BJOG. 2007;114:1516-21 pubmed
    ..Relevant health professionals, who are increasingly involved in managing chlamydia, are largely in favour of introducing new strategies for treating sexual partners. ..
  32. Kiss I, Green D, Kao R. The effect of network mixing patterns on epidemic dynamics and the efficacy of disease contact tracing. J R Soc Interface. 2008;5:791-9 pubmed support different epidemic dynamics, potentially affecting the efficacy of control measures such as contact tracing, which aims to identify and isolate nodes with infectious contacts...
  33. Heal C, Muller R. General practitioners' knowledge and attitudes to contact tracing for genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection in North Queensland. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2008;32:364-6 pubmed publisher
    ..This study aimed to assess GP attitudes to and knowledge of contact tracing in rural North Queensland. A single page questionnaire mailed to a database of 65 GPs in May 2007...
  34. Fischer E, Pahan D, Chowdhury S, Oskam L, Richardus J. The spatial distribution of leprosy in four villages in Bangladesh: an observational study. BMC Infect Dis. 2008;8:125 pubmed publisher
    ..Additionally, in highly endemic areas, it appears to be more effective to target complete villages for contact tracing, rather than narrowly defined contact groups such as households.
  35. Levine D, Woodruff A, Mocello A, Lebrija J, Klausner J. inSPOT: the first online STD partner notification system using electronic postcards. PLoS Med. 2008;5:e213 pubmed publisher
  36. Diaz Olavarrieta C, Garcia S, Feldman B, Polis A, Revollo R, Tinajeros F, et al. Maternal syphilis and intimate partner violence in Bolivia: a gender-based analysis of implications for partner notification and universal screening. Sex Transm Dis. 2007;34:S42-6 pubmed
    ..The data suggest that public health practitioners should concomitantly screen for IPV and syphilis during pregnancy and assist women in abusive relationships on how to communicate sensitive disclosure information to partners. ..
  37. Ottmani S, Zignol M, Bencheikh N, Laasri L, Blanc L, Mahjour J. TB contact investigations: 12 years of experience in the National TB Programme, Morocco 1993-2004. East Mediterr Health J. 2009;15:494-503 pubmed
    ..Performing TB contact investigations as part of the routine activities of NTP services is feasible in low-middle-income countries. ..
  38. Banu Rekha V, Jagarajamma K, Wares F, Chandrasekaran V, Swaminathan S. Contact screening and chemoprophylaxis in India's Revised Tuberculosis Control Programme: a situational analysis. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2009;13:1507-12 pubmed
    ..Provision for documentation using a separate IPT card and focused training may help improve the implementation of contact screening and IPT. ..
  39. Eames K, Webb C, Thomas K, Smith J, Salmon R, Temple J. Assessing the role of contact tracing in a suspected H7N2 influenza A outbreak in humans in Wales. BMC Infect Dis. 2010;10:141 pubmed publisher
    The detailed analysis of an outbreak database has been undertaken to examine the role of contact tracing in controlling an outbreak of possible avian influenza in humans...
  40. Diel R, Loytved G, Nienhaus A, Castell S, Detjen A, Geerdes Fenge H, et al. [New recommendations for contact tracing in tuberculosis. German Central Committee against Tuberculosis]. Pneumologie. 2011;65:359-78 pubmed publisher
    In 2007, the German Central Committee against Tuberculosis (DZK) published recommendations for contact tracing that introduced the new interferon gamma release assays (IGRAs)...
  41. Maltezou H, Maltezos E, Papa A. Contact tracing and serosurvey among healthcare workers exposed to Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Greece. Scand J Infect Dis. 2009;41:877-80 pubmed publisher
    ..Although person-to-person transmission did not take place, education of HCWs about the modes of CCHF virus transmission and appropriate infection control measures is needed in order to avoid future nosocomial cases. ..
  42. Mohammadi A, Nassor Z, Behlim T, Mohammadi E, Govindarajan R, Al Maniri A, et al. Epidemiological and cost analysis of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Oman. East Mediterr Health J. 2008;14:1240-5 pubmed
    ..A total of 140 contacts were screened (mean 10.8 persons per patient), but contact tracing revealed no secondary cases. The mean number of drugs that TB isolates were resistant to was 2.8 (range 2-5)...
  43. Hsieh Y, Wang Y, de Arazoza H, Lounes R. Modeling secondary level of HIV contact tracing: its impact on HIV intervention in Cuba. BMC Infect Dis. 2010;10:194 pubmed publisher
    ..A mathematical model is proposed which considers two levels of detection of HIV-infectives through contact tracing of known infectives in addition to detections through other means such as random screening...
  44. Jackson C, Mangtani P, Vynnycky E, Fielding K, Kitching A, Mohamed H, et al. School closures and student contact patterns. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17:245-7 pubmed publisher
    ..School closure was associated with a 65% reduction in the mean total number of contacts for each student. ..
  45. Gorís Pereiras A, Fernández Villar A, Chouciño Garrido N, Otero Baamonde M, Vázquez Gallardo R. [Factors predicting new tuberculosis infections and tuberculin conversions in a contact tracing system]. Enferm Clin. 2008;18:183-9 pubmed
    ..b>Contact tracing of TB patients was an effective strategy in our area...
  46. Kowada A, Takahashi O, Shimbo T, Ohde S, Tokuda Y, Fukui T. Cost effectiveness of interferon-gamma release assay for tuberculosis contact screening in Japan. Mol Diagn Ther. 2008;12:235-51 pubmed
    ..10/QALY gained, compared with the TST/QFT strategy. The QFT-alone strategy is the most cost effective for tuberculosis contact screening in Japan. ..
  47. Gardy J, Johnston J, Ho Sui S, Cook V, Shah L, Brodkin E, et al. Whole-genome sequencing and social-network analysis of a tuberculosis outbreak. N Engl J Med. 2011;364:730-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Traditional contact tracing did not identify a source...
  48. Savage R, Whelan M, Johnson I, Rea E, Lafreniere M, Rosella L, et al. Assessing secondary attack rates among household contacts at the beginning of the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in Ontario, Canada, April-June 2009: a prospective, observational study. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:234 pubmed publisher
    ..laboratory-confirmed cases reported between April 24 and June 18, 2009, participating health units performed contact tracing to detect secondary cases among household contacts...
  49. Mimiaga M, Tetu A, Gortmaker S, Koenen K, Fair A, Novak D, et al. HIV and STD status among MSM and attitudes about Internet partner notification for STD exposure. Sex Transm Dis. 2008;35:111-6 pubmed
    ..Internet PN should be considered as a tool to decrease rising STD and HIV rates among MSM who use the Internet to meet sexual partners. ..
  50. Klisch S, Mamary E, Diaz Olavarrieta C, Garcia S. Patient-led partner notification for syphilis: Strategies used by women accessing antenatal care in urban Bolivia. Soc Sci Med. 2007;65:1124-35 pubmed
    ..More studies are needed which examine successful patient-led strategies for partner notification and their connections with long-term health outcomes. ..
  51. Diel R, Forssbohm M, Loytved G, Haas W, Hauer B, Maffei D, et al. [Recommendations for environmental contact tracing in tuberculosis. German Central Committee against Tuberculosis]. Gesundheitswesen. 2007;69:488-503 pubmed
  52. Pourbohloul B, Ahued A, Davoudi B, Meza R, Meyers L, Skowronski D, et al. Initial human transmission dynamics of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus in North America. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2009;3:215-22 pubmed publisher
    ..The estimated transmission characteristics of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 suggest that pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical mitigation measures may appreciably limit its spread prior the development of an effective vaccine. ..
  53. Brower A, Okwumabua O, Massengill C, Muenks Q, Vanderloo P, Duster M, et al. Investigation of the spread of Brucella canis via the U.S. interstate dog trade. Int J Infect Dis. 2007;11:454-8 pubmed
    ..canis isolates...