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Free Content Tuberculin reactivity and tuberculosis epidemiology in the Pakaanóva (Wari') Indians of Rondônia, south-western Brazilian Amazon

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the characteristics of tuberculin skin test reactivity in the Pakaanóva Indians, in Amazonia, Brazil, after revaccination of all study participants with bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG).

METHODS: The investigation was designed as a post-BCG vaccination purified protein derivative (PPD) survey. Data included PPD readings, age, sex, nutritional status, place of residence, previous tuberculosis, physical examinations and BCG status. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted.

RESULTS: About 90% (n = 505) of the total population participated. One third (32.1%) of the subjects presented induration ≥10 mm at 72 h. Induration sizes showed weak linear correlation with age; differences between sexes were not observed. Skin reaction was not associated with nutritional status. Individuals with a history of tuberculosis were six times more likely to test positive. History of tuberculosis, age, and previous BCG vaccination were significantly associated with PPD reactivity in the multivariate analyses.

CONCLUSION: The Pakaanóva showed a high proportion (58.4%) of non-reactors, even with a recent BCG booster. Sex differences in PPD reactivity were either not present or could not be demonstrated. The association between age and PPD reactivity resembles that observed in other Amazonian populations. The authors discuss the potential of PPD testing as a screening tool to enhance tuberculosis detection, especially in indigenous populations in Amazonia with limited access to health services.

Keywords: Amazonia; BCG; PPD; epidemiology; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Estudos em Saúde do Índio de Rondônia, Universidade Federal de Rondônia, Porto Velho, Brazil 2: Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3: Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Departamento de Antropologia, Museu Nacional—UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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