EVALUATION OF TUBERCULIN SKIN TEST IN UNVACCINATED 0- TO 7-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN OF NORTHERN GREECE
INTRODUCTION: The tuberculin skin test (TST) is an important tool in the diagnosis of tuberculosis in children.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the proportion of 0- to 7-year-old children with induration of 5 to 9 or ≥10 mm after TST.
METHODS: During the 5-year period 2001–2005, 65 401 0- to 7-year-old children (50.2% female) were enrolled in this study and TST was performed before BCG vaccination. Mantoux reaction and the extent of induration of the transversal diameter were evaluated. Among 65 401 children, 8018 were 0 to 5 years of age (group A) and 57 383 were 6 to 7 years of age (group B).
RESULTS: In group A, 19 (0.23%) children had induration within 5 to 9 mm (mean diameter: 6.81 mm) and 42 children (0.52%) had induration within 10 to 25 mm (mean: 14.4 mm). In group B, 62 (0.1%) children had induration within 5 to 9 mm (mean: 7.27 mm) and 186 (0.32%) children had induration within 10 to 30 mm (mean: 14.57 mm). Children with TST induration ≥10 mm were given treatment for tuberculosis; for those with induration of 5 to 9 mm, their environment was examined for the presence of risk factors.
CONCLUSIONS: The discovery of a high number of children with positive TST results (≥10 mm) in both groups indicates a remaining tuberculosis problem in Greece. The extent of induration up to 30 mm reveals the exposure of children of these age groups to high mycobacterial burden from adults with tuberculosis, especially immigrants from countries of Eastern Europe.
Submitted by Georgia Zardava
- Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics