Estimation of tuberculin status among school children on a Greek island

Abstract number: P1557

Raptis G., Barkas K., Zika I., Baglatzi L., Augusti L., Jelastopulu E.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to estimate the tuberculin status among first class school children in the Island of Corfu.

Methods: In the time period from 1991–2005 tuberculin skin tests were performed on primary school children at 6 years of age. To all children qualified medical and nursing personnel administered intra-dermal Mantoux test with 0.1 ml PPD. The site of the antigen injection was examined for occurrence of indurations after 48–72 hours. Children with positive test results (indurations of 10 mm and more) were regarded as infected with M. tuberculosis and were referred to a paediatric clinic for further examination and investigation. All children who had a response of less than 10 mm (test negative) received a BCG vaccination. Children born in Albania and showing a response of more than 10 mm were also considered as positive and referred to further investigation, although this fact could issue from previous BCG-vaccination at birth in the origin country.

Results: During the fourteen year study period a total of 9072 children were screened for M. tuberculosis infection. A total of 63 of the screened children were found to be positive giving an average prevalence rate of 0.7%. Comparing the two seven-year periods (1991–1998 and 1999–2005) the average prevalence among the primary school children showed a significant decrease from 1.1% to 0.1%.

Conclusions: The prevalence rates of infection among children at school enrollment demonstrate a falling tendency, supporting the impression that satisfactory progress has been achieved in control of tuberculosis. Actually we were expecting a slightly increase in the prevalence of positive tuberculin skin tests since 1996, when children of immigrants coming from TB endemic areas were enrolled in the primary school. On the contrary, we noticed a further reduction of the prevalence rates. This fact seems to be justified by vigilant control programmes for the immigrants realised by the local public services. It is important to retain low rates of tuberculosis in remote areas and especially in border areas with a high immigration. Therefore, good organised local control and surveillance systems are essential in order to achieve effective disease control and prevention of tuberculosis.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
Back to top