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Tuberculosis

TB vaccine and Tine test

12/03/2008

Question:

I have had the Tine Test administered as a child in school at least once I can remember. Would the Tine test give me positive result in a TB skin test? If I also get a Quantiferon blood test done, would that conclusively tell me if I have TB and not be a false positive? I have heard and read conflicting things about whether the TB vaccination has ever been administered in the U.S. Can you tell me if that vaccine has ever been administered to children in the New York City Public Schools in the `60s and/or `70s?

Answer:

The Tine Test should not give you a positive tuberculin skin test result. The QuantiFERON-TB test is currently approved for diagnosing latent TB infection. You can get a false positive reaction from non-tuberculous mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium kansasii. However, if you have risk factors for TB, such as history of contact with someone with pulmonary TB, then the positive QuantiFERON-TB test is most likely due to TB infection.

I spoke with Martha Alexander at the New York City Bureau of TB Control regarding BCG vaccination for TB in New York City Schools in the 1960’s or 1970’s. She stated that there has never been a universal coordinated BCG vaccination program in NYC. I did find a research study done with BCG vaccination in schools in upstate New York and Ohio (link listed below).

Related Resources:

Some Evidence of the Efficacy of Mass BCG Vaccination

For more information:

Go to the Tuberculosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Shu-Hua   Wang, MD, MPH&TM Shu-Hua Wang, MD, MPH&TM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases
Clinical Assistant Professor of The Division of Epidemiology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University