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January 17, 1966


JAMA. 1966;195(3):213-214. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100030107032

The drop in the tuberculin reactor rate to relatively low doses of tuberculin (2 TU) in the last decade does not necessarily mean that the overall reactor rate to low and high doses of tuberculin (up to 100 TU) has also dropped. A communication in a recent issue of the Archives of Environmental Health indicates that the reactor rate of 2 TU dropped significantly from approximately 20% to 10% (1939-1951 compared with 1952-1960) in freshman medical students at the University of Illinois.1 However, the overall reactor rate to 2 TU and 100 TU remained constant at approximately 60% from 1939 to 1960 because the number of 100-TU reactors increased significantly.2 These findings open to question the thoroughness of case-finding programs, inasmuch as no evidence suggests an increased reactor rate to "atypical" mycobacterial tuberculins. Fewer people dying from tuberculosis, treatment in the home, and public overconfidence in chemotherapy, expressed

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