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Free Content Tuberculin skin test reactions by time of reading among Dutch travellers

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SETTING: Five travel and TB control clinics in The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the variation of skin test reactions between different days of reading.

DESIGN: Cohort study of non-BCG-vaccinated travellers. Mantoux skin test data were analysed for associations between time interval between administration and reading and reaction size.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in reaction size to 1 TU PPD between readings at day 3 or 4, either for pre-travel (n = 1004) or post-travel (n = 577) tests, before (P = 0.990 and 0.210, respectively) or after exclusion of 0 mm reactions (P = 0.330 and 0.474). Time intervals were not different for reaction sizes of 0, 1–9 or ≥10 mm (P = 0.826 and 0.306). There were also no significant associations for simultaneous tests with a sensitin of Mycobacterium scrofulaceum.

CONCLUSIONS: Tuberculin skin tests can be read on day 3 or 4, without compromising their validity.
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Keywords: methods; tuberculin test; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Association (KNCV), The Hague, The Netherlands; and the Department of Infectious Diseases, Academic Medical Centre, Tropical Medicine & AIDS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2: Department of Tuberculosis Control, Municipal Health Service, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 3: Department of Tuberculosis Control, Municipal Health Service, Utrecht, The Netherlands 4: Department of Tuberculosis Control, Municipal Health Service, The Hague, The Netherlands; and the Department of Tuberculosis Control, Municipal Health Service, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 5: Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Association (KNCV), The Hague, The Netherlands; and the Department of Tuberculosis Control, Municipal Health Service, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: 01 August 2003

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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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