Objective: 1) To characterize risk factors for non-completion of latent tuberculous infection treatment (LTBIT), and 2) to assess the impact of LTBIT regimens on subsequent risk of tuberculosis (TB).
Methods: Close contacts of adults aged ⩾15 years with pulmonary TB were prospectively enrolled in a multi-center study in the United States and Canada from January 2002 to December 2006. Close contacts of TB patients were screened and cross-matched with TB registries to identify those who developed active TB.
Results: Of 3238 contacts screened, 1714 (53%) were diagnosed with LTBI. Preventive treatment was recommended in 1371 (80%); 1147 (84%) initiated treatment, of whom 723 (63%) completed it. In multivariate analysis, study site, initial interview sites other than a home or health care setting and isoniazid preventive treatment (IPT) were significantly associated with non-completion of LTBIT. Fourteen TB cases were identified in contacts, all of whom initiated IPT: two TB cases among persons who received ⩾6 months of IPT (66 cases/100 000 person-years [py]), and nine among those who received 0-5 months (median 2 months) of IPT (792 cases/100 000 py, P < 0.001); data on duration of IPT were not available for three cases.
Conclusion: Only 53% (723/1371) of close contacts for whom IPT was recommended actually completed treatment. Close contacts were significantly less likely to complete LTBIT if they took IPT. Less than 6 months of IPT was associated with increased risk of active TB.