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Contact Investigations

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Contact investigations detect persons exposed to mycobacterium tuberculosis. Persons exposed to an individual with infectious TB disease are at a high risk for acquiring TB infection; and, if these persons or "contacts" acquire TB infection, they are at a further risk for developing TB disease within the first two years after becoming infected with TB. To prevent the development of TB disease and/or to treat the TB infection, it is important to find and treat these contacts. The documents linked below describe and outline the procedural and medical steps in a contact investigation. Also linked below are patient education materials and instructions for administering and reading TB skin tests.

Contact investigations include a review of the patient's medical record, an interview with the index TB patient and a field investigation to identify those exposed to infectious TB disease. If TB transmission into the community is likely, the contact investigation steps also include a risk assessment, prioritizing contacts and testing those most likely to have been exposed and/or those who are at a high risk of developing TB disease if infected with the bacteria.

Guidelines for the Investigation of Contacts of Persons with Infectious Tuberculosis by the CDC
HTML | PDF pdf

How to Conduct a Contact Investigation
The following document uses a flow chart approach in outlining the steps in a contact investigation.

Algorithm on Conducting a Contact Investigation  

Contact Registration Form, updated 6/2011


Mantoux Tuberculin Skin Test
The following links provide practical and theoretical guidelines on conducting the Mantoux Tuberculin Skin Test.

Administering, Reading and Interpreting the TB Skin Test - Instructions [pdf Transcript and Facilitator Notes for the CDC Mantoux Tuberculin Skin Test Video (2003)]
[For a free copy of the video, contact TB Control (804-864-7906) or visit the CDC web site:]

Last Updated: 02-15-2012

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