Impact and cost-effectiveness of short-course tuberculosis preventive treatment for household contacts and people with HIV in 29 high-incidence countries: a modelling analysis

Elsevier, The Lancet Global Health, Volume 11, August 2023
Ryckman T., Weiser J., Gombe M., Turner K., Soni P., Tarlton D. et al.

Background: Guidelines and implementation of tuberculosis preventive treatment (TPT) vary by age and HIV status. Specifically, TPT is strongly recommended for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and household contacts younger than 5 years but only conditionally recommended for older contacts. Cost remains a major barrier to implementation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of TPT for household contacts and PLWHA. Methods: We developed a state-transition model to simulate short-course TPT for household contacts and PLWHA in 29 high-incidence countries based on data from previous studies and public databases. Our primary outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, expressed as incremental discounted costs (2020 US$, including contact investigation costs) per incremental discounted disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted, compared with a scenario without any TPT or contact investigation. We propagated uncertainty in all model parameters using probabilistic sensitivity analysis and also evaluated the sensitivity of results to the screening algorithm used to rule out active disease, the choice of TPT regimen, the modelling time horizon, assumptions about TPT coverage, antiretroviral therapy discontinuation, and secondary transmission. Findings: Between 2023 and 2035, scaling up TPT prevented 0·9 (95% uncertainty interval 0·4–1·6) people from developing tuberculosis and 0·13 (0·05–0·27) tuberculosis deaths per 100 PLWHA, at an incremental cost of $15 (9–21) per PLWHA. For household contacts, TPT (with contact investigation) averted 1·1 (0·5–2·0) cases and 0·7 (0·4–1·0) deaths per 100 contacts, at a cost of $21 (17–25) per contact. Cost-effectiveness was most favourable for household contacts younger than 5 years ($22 per DALY averted) and contacts aged 5–14 years ($104 per DALY averted) but also fell within conservative cost-effectiveness thresholds in many countries for PLWHA ($722 per DALY averted) and adult contacts ($309 per DALY averted). Costs per DALY averted tended to be lower when compared with a scenario with contact investigation but no TPT. The cost-effectiveness of TPT was not substantially altered in sensitivity analyses, except that TPT was more favourable in analysis that considered a longer time horizon or included secondary transmission benefits. Interpretation: In many high-incidence countries, short-course TPT is likely to be cost-effective for PLWHA and household contacts of all ages, regardless of whether contact investigation is already in place. Failing to implement tuberculosis contact investigation and TPT will incur a large burden of avertable illness and mortality in the next decade. Funding: Unitaid.