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April/May 2011 (vol. 07/6)

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Research Plus

Pre-employment TB testing

Pre-employment screening for tuberculosis of 611 new healthcare employees in the US Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) found 92.5% agreement between the standard tuberculin skin test (TST) and a whole-blood interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). False positives were the biggest cause of disagreement (8.2% of employees tested positive in the TST but only 2.0% with the IGRA). The study supports using an IGRA test on employees who test positive with the TST to reduce the risk of false-positive results in low tuberculosis prevalence populations. (In the UK, NICE recommends that positive TSTs are reconfirmed with IGRA.)

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2011; 53(3): 290–293. http://goo.gl/cy04k

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Occupational Health at Work April/May 2011 (vol. 07/6) pp49