Journal Article

Influence of Bacille Calmette-Guérin Vaccination on Size of Tuberculin Skin Test Reaction: To What Size?

F. Tissot, G. Zanetti, P. Francioli, J.-P. Zellweger and F. Zysset

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue 2, pages 211-217
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/426434
Influence of Bacille Calmette-Guérin Vaccination on Size of Tuberculin Skin Test Reaction: To What Size?

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Microbiology

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background. Previous bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination can confound the results of a tuberculin skin test (TST). We sought to determine a cutoff diameter of TST induration beyond which the influence of BCG vaccination was negligible in evaluating potential Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in a population of health care workers with a high vaccination rate and low incidence of tuberculosis.

Methods. From 1991 through 1998, all new employees at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland, underwent a 2-step TST at entry visit. We also gathered information on demographic characteristics, along with factors commonly associated with tuberculin positivity, including previous BCG vaccination, history of latent M. tuberculosis infection, and predictors for M. tuberculosis infection.

Results. Among the 5117 investigated subjects, we found that influence of BCG vaccination on TST results varied across categories of age (likelihood ratio test, 0.0001). Prior BCG vaccination had a strong influence on skin test results of ⩽18 mm in diameter among persons <40 years old, compared with the influence of factors predictive of M. tuberculosis infection. Prior latent M. tuberculosis infection and travel or employment in a country in which tuberculosis is endemic also had significant influences.

Conclusions. Interpretation of TST reactions of ⩽18 mm among BCG-vaccinated persons <40 years of age must be done with caution in areas with a low incidence of tuberculosis. In such a population, except for persons who have never been vaccinated, TST reactions of ⩽18 mm are more likely to be the result of prior vaccination than infection and should not systematically lead to preventive treatment.

Journal Article.  4078 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.