Designing and Evaluating Interventions to Halt the Transmission of Tuberculosis

David W. Dowdy, Alison D. Grant, Keertan Dheda, Edward Nardell, Katherine Fielding, David A.J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


To reduce the incidence of tuberculosis, it is insufficient to simply understand the dynamics of tuberculosis transmission. Rather, we must design and rigorously evaluate interventions to halt transmission, prioritizing those interventions most likely to achieve population-level impact. Synergy in reducing tuberculosis transmission may be attainable by combining interventions that shrink the reservoir of latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (preventive therapy), shorten the time between disease onset and treatment initiation (case finding and diagnosis), and prevent transmission in key settings, such as the built environment (infection control). In evaluating efficacy and estimating population-level impact, cluster-randomized trials and mechanistic models play particularly prominent roles. Historical and contemporary evidence suggests that effective public health interventions can halt tuberculosis transmission, but an evidence-based approach based on knowledge of local epidemiology is necessary for success. We provide a roadmap for designing, evaluating, and modeling interventions to interrupt the process of transmission that fuels a diverse array of tuberculosis epidemics worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S654-S661
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - 2017


  • Tuberculosis
  • diagnosis
  • disease transmission
  • infection control
  • infectious
  • prevention and control
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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