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Differences in Tuberculin Reactivity as Determined in a Veterans Administration Employee Health Screening Program▿

By Sanjay R. Mehta, Cathy MacGruder, David Looney, Scott Johns and Davey M. Smith

Abstract

In response to a difference in pricing, the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center changed its tuberculin preparation from Tubersol to Aplisol in the fall of 2006. Following the change, an increased number of employee skin test conversions was noted. Employee tuberculin skin test converters from 2006 were screened with the QuantiFERON Gold (QFT-G) gamma interferon release assay. Those employees who tested negative by QFT-G were asked to repeat their skin test with both Tubersol and Aplisol tuberculin preparations. Of the new purified protein derivative converters, 12 of 14 returned for repeat testing with QFT-G, and the assay was negative for 83% (10/12), positive for 8% (1/12), and indeterminate for 8% (1/12) of the individuals. Nine of the individuals who were QFT-G negative agreed to repeat skin testing with both tuberculin preparations, and 7/8 (87.5%) demonstrated reactivity with the Aplisol preparation, while 0/8 (0%) reacted to the Tubersol preparation. A change from Tubersol to Aplisol resulted in elevated tuberculin skin test conversion rates that may be due to false-positive reactions. The differences in skin test reactivity between preparations support CDC guidelines that recommend that institutions should not change tuberculin preparations, as doing so may falsely increase the number of positive reactions

Topics: Microbial Immunology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2668276
Provided by: PubMed Central
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