Self-Study Modules for Effective TB Interviewing
Contacts – persons exposed to M. tuberculosis organism
by sharing air space with a person with infectious TB disease. Contacts
can include family members, roommates or housemates, friends, coworkers,
classmates, and others classified as priority or nonpriority.
Exposure to TB – time spent with or near someone who has
infectious TB disease.
Health department referral – the process of a public healthcare
worker informing contacts to an index case of the need for medical
evaluation due to exposure.
Index patient – a person suspected or confirmed TB disease
is the initial case reported to the health department.
Infectious period – the time frame during which a person
with TB disease is capable of spreading M. tuberculosis. The
beginning of the infectious period is usually estimated by determining
the date of onset of the patient's symptoms (especially coughing);
it ends when contact with others is broken, smears improve, treatment
is adequate, and symptoms have improved.
Latent TB infection (LTBI) – also referred to as TB infection.
Persons with latent TB infection carry the organisms that cause
TB but do not have TB disease, are without symptoms, and are not
infectious. Such persons usually have a positive reaction to the
tuberculin skin test or a positive QuantiFERONÒ-TB Gold test result.
Mantoux tuberculin skin test – a test used to determine
if a person has been infected with M. tuberculosis. Tuberculin,
a substance derived from dead tubercle bacilli, is injected under
the skin. If the person has TB infection, the immune system will
recognize the tuberculin and, in most cases, form a reaction.
QuantiFERONÒ-TB Gold test (QFT) - a blood
test used to detect TB infection. It measures a person’s immune
reactivity to M. tuberculosis.
Re-interview – a second interview within 2 weeks of the
initial interview to determine additional information which the
patient may not have shared for various reasons and to confirm
previously obtained information
Patient referral – the process by which an index patient
informs his or her contacts of TB exposure and the need for medical
Source case investigation – the process of conducting a
public health investigation to determine who may have transmitted
M. tuberculosis to a patient when recent transmission is
reported. Source case investigations can be applied to both recent
transmission in infected adults and children and for disease in
very young children.
TB interview – an interview of a TB patient by a health
department staff to identify priority contacts, build trust with
the patient, and provide TB education. Interactions with a patient
involve the basic principles of effective communication and patient