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March 2, 1940

THE TUBERCULIN TEST AND X-RAYS IN MASS SURVEYS FOR TUBERCULOSIS

JAMA. 1940;114(9):805-806. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810090083015
Abstract

Tuberculins have been used successfully in the detection of primary and calcified tuberculous lesions for a generation. Nevertheless, discussion1 still seeks to clarify their value, limitations and relation to the more accurate x-ray film. The problem is less one of ascertaining how many persons have been infected in a given community than to select for more careful study a relatively small number of suspected persons from a large number of people who are presumably well; especially is it important to isolate those with really active pulmonary lesions. In view of the general decline of tuberculosis and the lessened opportunity for reinfection, the number of nonreactors to tuberculin may be expected to increase. Whether or not the percentage of the tuberculin positive in a community will decline proportionately with the death rate is problematic. Conceivably, tuberculin reactions may eventually become negative in all cases of calcified primary lesions if further

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