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Sept 18, 1967

Tuberculin Conversion

Author Affiliations

USN San Francisco

JAMA. 1967;201(12):981. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130120089034

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To the Editor:—  Recent studies indicate that previous tuberculin testsmay boost the intensity of the tuberculin reaction in a sensitized person. However, I believe that this effect played a minor role, if any, as a cause of conversion in my study.1. The average conversion rate for the original crew members was about the same for the new men. Second-strength tuberculin was given only to the men in the original crew who manifested a negative reaction to intermediate-strength tuberculin; it was not given to the new men. The program also required the original crew members to have more intermediate tuberculin tests, in a shorter period of time, than did the new men. It would appear that the previous testing with second-strength tuberculin, and frequent testing with intermediate-strength tuberculin would have had a greater propensity to induce the "booster effect" than would one or two intermediate-strength tuberculin tests, performed three to