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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31820c91c5
Original Articles

Preemployment Screening for Tuberculosis in a Large Health Care Setting: Comparison of the Tuberculin Skin Test and a Whole-Blood Interferon-γ Release Assay

Khoury, Nicole Zitterkopf PhD; Binnicker, Matthew J. PhD; Wengenack, Nancy L. PhD; Aksamit, Timothy R. MD; Buchta, William G. MD; Molella, Robin G. MD

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Objective: Determine the performance of an interferon-γ release assay in a health care occupational surveillance program.

Methods: From January 11, 2005, through January 31, 2006, all new employees (n = 652) undergoing standard, preemployment evaluation at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota were evaluated for tuberculosis using a standard process of symptom screening combined with tuberculin skin test (TST) and QuantiFERON-TB Gold test (QFT-G).

Results: Comparing the results of QFT-G directly to TST, QFT-G showed an overall agreement of 92.5%.

Conclusions: False-positive TST were the most significant issue affecting agreement, and in a low–tuberculosis prevalence population, the need for an effective strategy offering low false-positive results may be best met by combining the TST with QFT-G.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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