In January 1994, the Committee on Infectious Diseases published detailed guidelines on tuberculin skin testing of infants, children, and adolescents for the detection of tuberculous infections. This supplement to the 1994 statement is written to update and clarify several issues regarding the frequency of skin testing for children at increased risk of acquiring tuberculosis. In this document, children will refer to infants, children, and adolescents. The recommendations regarding the preferred use of the Mantoux skin test and the interpretation of skin test results remain unchanged and will not be repeated here. The interpretation guidelines for indurations of 5, 10, and 15 mm in diameter basically remain unchanged (Table 1).
The overall emphasis to control tuberculosis in the United States should be placed on access to health care, a thorough history taking of exposure to infectious persons, timely and effective contact investigations, proper interpretation of Mantoux skin tests, and appropriate use of therapy, including directly observed therapy. Variations in the epidemiology of tuberculosis in different locations reinforce the importance of communication with local public health officials and/or experts on tuberculosis. Existing publications can assist in assessing the local risk of acquiring tuberculosis. The recommendations should be considered regardless of previous BCG vaccine administration.
The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to encourage focusing tuberculin skin testing on children who are at increased risk of acquiring tuberculosis. Routine tuberculin testing, including school-based programs that include populations at low risk, has either a low yield of positive results or a large number of false-positive results and represents an inefficient use of limited health care resources.
- Copyright © 1996 by the American Academy of Pediatrics