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A Pseudo-Outbreak of Purified Protein Derivative Skin-Test Conversions Caused by Inappropriate Testing Materials

  • John C. Grabau (a1), Daniel J. Burrows (a1) and Michelle L. Kern (a1)



To investigate a cluster of newly identified tuberculosis infections.


A field study was conducted including interviews; medical record reviews; checking of bills and invoices, pharmacy records, and drug manufacturer information; and clinical retesting.


Community residential facilities providing comprehensive services to retarded adults.


Twenty residential facility staff (not previously known to be purified protein derivative [PPD] positive).


Staff had been tested with 250 TU of PPD, and 9 of 20 were tuberculin positive. Retesting with 5 TU yielded no reaction.


Reactions were attributable to testing with a product not recommended for routine PPD screening. Healthcare workers planting PPD Mantoux tests always should check the vials to ensure that the appropriate strength solution is being used.


Corresponding author

Bureau of Tuberculosis Control, New York State Department of Health, Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Room 840, Albany, NY 12237-0669


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A Pseudo-Outbreak of Purified Protein Derivative Skin-Test Conversions Caused by Inappropriate Testing Materials

  • John C. Grabau (a1), Daniel J. Burrows (a1) and Michelle L. Kern (a1)


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