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Pathol Biol (Paris). 2009 May;57(3):e49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2008.02.010. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

IFNgamma and antibody responses among French nurses during a tuberculosis contact tracing investigation.

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Microbiology Department, Raymond Poincaré-Hospital, 104 Boulevard Raymond-Poincaré, 92380 Garches, France.



A comparative study which compared PPD skin testing inserted according to the French Society of Pneumology's recommendations and interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) (QuantiFERON((R)) TB Gold In-tube, QF-TB-IT, Cellestis, Carnegie, Australia) was performed during a tuberculosis contact investigation in our hospital.


Nineteen French health-care workers (HCWs) volunteered to participate. All of the HCW enrolled were BCG vaccinated and had a normal chest X-ray at entry.


Among the HCW, 68.4% were TST positive. By comparison, only 31.6% had a positive QF-TB-IT result. We took advantage of the negative tube and the corresponding plasma for antibody detection by ELISA. None were ELISA positive. Fourteen HCWs were followed up. None of the HCWs accepted a course of antiTB chemoprophylaxis. Despite the difficulty in establishing a trend in kinetics, we saw the complexity of interpretation of a dynamic T-cell response after contact with an index case.


This initial and first French picture provides us with the observation that only 44% of TST-positive HCW were IGRA positive, and the IGRA test allowed the detection of LTBI in two TST negative HCWs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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