Tuberculosis in a Swiss army training camp: contact investigation using an Interferon gamma release assay

Kipfer, Beat; Reichmuth, Markus; Büchler, Markus; Meisels, Cyrus; Bodmer, Thomas (2008). Tuberculosis in a Swiss army training camp: contact investigation using an Interferon gamma release assay. Swiss medical weekly, 138(17-18), pp. 267-72. Muttenz: EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag

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BACKGROUND: In tuberculosis (TB), the risk of exposure is determined mainly by the proximity to and the hours of direct contact with an infectious patient. We describe the contact investigation after detection of an infectious form of TB in a military camp using an Interferon-g-Release-Assay (IGRA, QuantiFERON-TB Gold In Tube [QTF-GIT]) eight weeks after detection of the index case. INDEX PATIENT: The index patient presented with fever, cough and weight loss in the military hospital six weeks after entering the camp. TB was suspected and anti-tuberculous therapy given immediately. Subsequently, TB was microbiologically confirmed. METHODS: Four exposure groups were formed a priori based on the proximity and the hours of direct contact to the index case. 168 (95.5%) agreed to be investigated: - Group A: sharing the same dormitory (15 persons) - Group B: same platoon, but not sharing the dormitory (20 persons) - Group C: staff and patients of the military hospital (22 persons) - Group D: other three platoons and senior military staff (111 persons). RESULTS: 34 (20.2%) out of 168 contacts tested positive in the QFT-GIT assay. For the exposure groups, the respective QFT-GIT testing results were: group A, 14/15 (93%); group B, 4/20 (20%); group C, 5/22 (22.7%); and group D, 11/111 (9.9%). No secondary TB cases were identified. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, test results show a correlation with the risk of exposure, suggesting that IGRA may be useful for the assessment of TB infection in TB contacts. The high mobility of recruits reduced traceability of contacts. In this context, QFT-GIT allowed for an efficient screening of contacts at a single time point.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases

UniBE Contributor:

Bodmer, Thomas






EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:06

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:20

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 125124)

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