Singh, Dave, Sutton, Chris and Woodcock, Ashley
Repeat Tuberculin Testing in BCG-vaccinated Subjects in the United Kingdom.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 164
The booster effect varies between populations, but has not been studied in the UK. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of repeat tuberculin tests at 1 wk in BCG-vaccinated healthy subjects (all hospital employees) in the UK; we have assessed whether a booster effect is present 48 and 72 h after injection. Twenty-six subjects received two tuberculin tests (both 10 units) administered by the Mantoux technique—Tests 1 and 2. At Test 2 there was a significant increase in induration at 48 h (mean, 7.8 mm; p<0.001), no difference at 72 h (mean, 0.2 mm; p=0.93), and a reduction at 96 h (mean,4.2 mm; p=0.02). There were more positive results (15 mm induration) at Test 2 compared with Test 1 at 48 h (19 vs. 9, respectively; p=0.002), but similar numbers at 72 h (11 vs. 10, respectively). These results show that repeat tuberculin testing in this BCG-vaccinated population caused a booster effect that varied with the time of measurement and was maximal at 48 h.