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Dr. Sriram Selvaraju
Scientist 'D'
Mail : selvaraju.s@icmr.gov.in


The Department of Epidemiology started its work from 1968 with the BCG trial in tuberculosis in Chingleput district. This area was utilized as the population laboratory for the study of Epidemiology of Tuberculosis. After the BCG Trial, several disease prevalence surveys were undertaken by NIRT Epidemiology unit. The RNTCP was introduced in the BCG trial area in 1999. Disease Survey and Tuberculin survey are being carried out in the BCG trial area to study the impact of DOTS strategy (RNTCP) on the epidemiology of TB. Further, three repeat surveys were carried out in the same area. A case control study was done in 1998 to study the association between Tobacco smoking and Pulmonary TB.

The Epidemiology Unit of NIRT has also collaborated with National Tuberculosis Institute, Bangalore, in conducting a nationwide sample survey (tuberculin survey). Mortality surveys were completed in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Studies on mortality among cohorts of tuberculosis patients from Chennai Corporation and Thiruvallur district were completed. Following this, prevalence of tobacco use among the urban, semi-urban and rural areas around Chennai City were carried out. Further, in the subsequent disease surveys conducted in Chennai Metropolitan City, the information on exposure to risk factors like smoking, alcohol consumption were collected to study the association between these behavioural risk factors with pulmonary TB.

The Department conducted the world's largest TB Prevalence Survey in India from 2019 to 2021. The National TB Prevalence Survey was conducted by the Department in collaboration with Central TB Division and World Health Organization. The survey has provided the TB prevalence for the country as well as TB prevalence of various states/ state group. This will help in monitoring the END TB activities in the country. The department has recently completed the first district wise TB prevalence in the State of Tamil Nadu. Currently, a demonstration project on short-course 3 months regimen with weekly isoniazid and rifapentine for tuberculosis preventive therapy is ongoing.

National TB Prevalence Survey-2019- 2021 - Summary Report


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