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Clinical Investigations: INFECTION |

Acceptability of Short-Course Rifampin and Pyrazinamide Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection Among Jail Inmates*

Naomi N. Bock, MD; Tara Rogers, BS; Jane R. Tapia, RN; George D. Herron, MHA; Beverly DeVoe, MSH; Lawrence J. Geiter, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Research and Evaluation Branch (Dr. Bock), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Fulton County Sheriff’s Department (Mr. Herron), Fulton County Health and Wellness Program (Mss. Rogers and Tapia); Georgia Division of Public Health (Ms. DeVoe), Atlanta, GA; and Sequella, Inc. (Dr. Geiter), Washington, DC.

Correspondence to: Naomi N. Bock, MD, Division of TB Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop E-10, 1600 Clifton Rd, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30333; e-mail: neb2@cdc.gov



Chest. 2001;119(3):833-837. doi:10.1378/chest.119.3.833
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Study objectives: To determine whether short-course treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) with 2 months of rifampin and pyrazinamide (2RZ) is well tolerated and leads to increased treatment completion among jail inmates, a group who may benefit from targeted testing and treatment for LTBI but for whom completion of ≥ 6 months of isoniazid treatment is difficult because of the short duration of incarceration.

Design: Prospective cohort.

Setting: Large, urban county jail.

Patients: All inmates admitted to the Fulton County Jail who had positive tuberculin skin test results, normal findings on chest radiography, and expected duration of incarceration of at least 60 days.

Intervention: Inmates were offered 2RZ via daily directly observed therapy for 60 doses as an alternative to isoniazid therapy.

Measurements and results: We measured the completion of 2RZ treatment and toxicity due to 2RZ treatment during incarceration. From December 14, 1998, through December 13, 1999, 1,360 new inmates had positive tuberculin skin test results and normal findings on chest radiography, and 168 new inmates had an expected duration of incarceration of ≥ 60 days. One hundred sixty-six inmates (> 99%) were HIV-negative. Eighty-one inmates (48%) completed 60 doses of 2RZ treatment while incarcerated. Seventy-four inmates (44%) were released before completion. Treatment was stopped in 1 inmate (< 1%) for asymptomatic elevation of asparginine aminotransferase (≥ 10 times normal) and in 12 inmates (7%) for minor complaints. Twenty-one inmates had completed isoniazid treatment in the year before the availability of 2RZ, and 9 inmates completed isoniazid treatment in the year during the availability of 2RZ.

Conclusions: 2RZ was acceptable to and well tolerated by inmates, and led to a marked increase in the number of inmates completing treatment of LTBI during incarceration.

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