Isoniazid prophylactic therapy for the prevention of tuberculosis in HIV infected adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials


BACKGROUND: Infection with Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an important risk factor for Tuberculosis (TB). Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) has improved the prognosis of HIV and reduced the risk of TB infected patients. Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT) aims to reduce the development of active TB in patients with latent TB. OBJECTIVE: Systematically review and synthesize effect estimates of IPT for TB prevention in adult HIV patients. Secondary objectives were to assess the effect of IPT on HIV disease progression, all-cause mortality and adverse drug reaction (ADR). SEARCH STRATEGY: Electronic databases were searched to identify relevant articles in English available by September 11th 2015. SELECTION CRITERIA: Research articles comparing IPT to placebo or no treatment in HIV infected adults using randomized clinical trials. DATA ANALYSIS: A qualitative review included study-level information on randomization and treatment allocation. Effect estimates were pooled using random-effects models to account for between-study heterogeneity. MAIN RESULTS: This review assessed ten randomized clinical trials that assigned 7619 HIV patients to IPT or placebo. An overall 35% of TB risk reduction (RR = 0.65, 95% CI (0.51, 0.84)) was found in all participants, however, larger benefit of IPT was observed in Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) positive participants, with pooled relative risk reduction of 52% [RR = 0.48; 95% CI (0.29, 0.82)] and with a prediction interval ranging from 0.13 to 1.81. There was no statistically significant effect of IPT on TB occurrence in TST negative or unknown participants. IPT also reduced the risk of HIV disease progression in all participants (RR = 0.69; 95% CI (0.48, 0.99)) despite no benefits observed in TST strata. All-cause mortality was not affected by IPT although participants who had 12 months of IPT tend to have a reduced risk (RR = 0.65; 95% CI(0.47, 0.90)). IPT had an elevated, yet statistically non-significant, risk of adverse drug reaction [RR = 1.20; 95% CI (1.20, 1.71)]. Only a single study assessed the effect of IPT in combination with ART in preventing TB and occurrence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. CONCLUSIONS: IPT use substantially contributes in preventing TB in persons with HIV in general and in TST positive individuals in particular. More evidence is needed to explain discrepancies in the protective effect of IPT in these individuals.


Ayele HT, Mourik MS, Debray TP, Bonten MJ.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Co-infections
    • Tuberculosis


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