National case definition: Tuberculosis

Date of last revision/review: January 2019

National notification

All laboratory-confirmed and clinically-diagnosed cases should be notified to the federal level.
Whether treatment was started or not, there should be notification of all cases of tuberculosis diagnosed in Canada in the following groups:

For temporary residents (visitors, students and people granted work permits) and foreign nationals who are in Canada illegally, notification is to be done only for cases for whom treatment was started in Canada. The province/territory where treatment starts is to be responsible for notification.

New and re-treatment cases of tuberculosis

New case

No documented evidence or adequate history of previously active tuberculosis

Re-treatment caseFootnote *

Type of surveillance

Routine case-by-case notification to the federal level

Case classification

Laboratory confirmed case

Clinically diagnosed case

A person for whom microbiological confirmation of active tuberculosis is absent and who meets one or more of the following criteriaFootnote x:

Clinical evidence

See above

ICD code(s)

6.1 ICD-9 code(s)

010, 010.0, 010.1, 010.8, 010.9, 011, 011.0 - 011.9, 012, 012.0-012.3, 012.8, 013, 013.0, 013.1, 013.2, 013.3, 013.8, 013.9, 014, 014.0, 014.1, 014.8, 015, 015.0-015.2, 015.5-015.9, 016, 016.0­016.4, 016.7, 016.9, 017, 017.0-017.8, 018, 018.0, 018.8, 018.9, 137.0-137.4

6.2 ICD-10 code(s)

A15, A15.0-15.9, A16, A16.0-A16.9, A17, A17.0, A17.1, A17.8, A17.9, A18, A18.0-A18.8, A19, A19.0, A19.1, A19.2, A19.8, A19.9

Type of international reporting

Enhanced reporting to WHO by member countries


Footnote *

Prior to 2008 in Canada, re-treatment cases were known as relapsed cases.

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Footnote †

If less than 6 months have passed since the last day of previous treatment and the case was not previously reported in Canada, report as a re-treatment case. If less than 6 months have passed since the last day of previous treatment and the case was previously reported in Canada, do not report as a re-treatment case. Submit an additional “Treatment Outcome of New Active or Re-treatment Tuberculosis Case” form at the end of treatment.

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Footnote ‡

Inactivity for a respiratory TB case is defined as three negative tuberculosis smears and cultures with a three-month duration of stability in serial chest radiographs or a six-month duration of stability in serial chest radiographs. Inactivity for a nonrespiratory tuberculosis case is to be documented bacteriologically, radiologically and/or clinically as appropriate to the site of disease.

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Footnote x

To account for the variation across provinces/territories (P/Ts) in the definition of a clinically diagnosed case, national surveillance includes all clinically diagnosed cases that are accepted at the P/T public health authority level.

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