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  • Tuberculosis Contact Investigation: Principles and practice

Tuberculosis Contact Investigation: Principles and practice

  • 05 Dec 2023
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Webinar

Contact investigation is a key element of public health tuberculosis (TB) programs, including in Ontario and other Canadian jurisdictions. The aim of contact investigation for exposures to infectious TB is two-fold: to detect any secondary TB cases, and, to identify contacts with TB infection who may benefit from preventive treatment. The recently updated Canadian TB Standards, 8th Edition, emphasize the importance of thoughtful risk-based prioritization for contact investigation, using an iterative approach.

This PHO Rounds will review the principles of TB contact investigation, including transmission risk assessment, prioritizing follow-up based on the source case’s likely infectiousness, the nature of the exposure(s), and factors that increase immunologic vulnerability of exposed individuals to TB disease. The usefulness and limitations of using a structured tool to support risk-based contact investigation will also be discussed. Case studies of TB contact investigations will be presented, applying the principles of contact investigation, and exploring practice-based implementation experiences and lessons learned, from the perspective of a local public health unit.

Intended audience: Public health physicians and nurses, public health unit (PHU) staff working in infectious disease, epidemiologists, and infection prevention and control (IPAC) practitioners

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify when a TB contact investigation is indicated
  • Describe the key factors informing a prioritized approach to the initial TB contact investigation
  • List the criteria for being considered a “highest priority contact” in a TB contact investigation, as per the Canadian Tuberculosis Standards, 8th Edition
  • Discuss practical considerations and approaches for TB contact investigations in at least two settings

Presenter(s): Dr. Elizabeth Rea

Dr Elizabeth Rea, MD, MSc, FRCPC, has been the Associate Medical Officer of Health with the Tuberculosis program at Toronto Public Health, since 2005. She is the lead author of the contacts and outbreaks chapter of the 2022 Canadian TB Standards; Co-Chair of the national advocacy group Stop TB Canada, and an adjunct professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She has been involved in TB policy issues for many years. Her research interests include TB epidemiology and operational research in TB programs.


The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or

Register Here

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