A tuberculin screening and isoniazid preventive therapy program in an inner-city population

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Jan;159(1):295-300. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.159.1.9807020.


As tuberculosis transmission decreases, case rates decline and an increasing proportion of cases arises from the pool of persons with latent infection. Elimination of tuberculosis will require preventing disease from developing in infected persons. From 1994 to 1996 the Atlanta TB Prevention Coalition conducted a community-based tuberculin screening and isoniazid preventive therapy project among high-risk inner-city residents of Atlanta, Georgia. We established screening centers in outpatient waiting areas of the public hospital serving inner-city residents, the city jail, clinics serving the homeless, and with outreach teams in neighborhoods frequented by drug users. All services were provided free. A total of 7,246 persons participated in tuberculin testing; 4,701 (65%) adhered with skin test reading, 809 (17%) had a positive test, 409 (50%) fit current guidelines for isoniazid preventive therapy, 84 (20%) we intended to treat completed therapy. The major limitations of this community-based tuberculin screening and preventive therapy project were the low proportion of infected individuals who were eligible for isoniazid preventive therapy and the poor adherence with a complete regimen among those we intended to treat. For community-based programs to be efficacious, preventive therapy regimens that are of shorter duration and safe for older persons will need to be implemented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Isoniazid / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty Areas
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Tuberculin Test*
  • Tuberculosis / complications
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control*
  • Urban Population*


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Isoniazid