Booster phenomenon of QuantiFERON-TB Gold after prior intradermal PPD injection

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2007 Jul;11(7):788-91.


Setting: University medical school in Japan.

Objective: To clarify the influence of prior intradermal purified protein derivative (PPD) injection on QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT-G).

Design: Ninety-seven sixth-year university medical students aged 20-29 years concurrently underwent QFT-G and tuberculin skin test (TST). The first negative QFT-G and the first TST <15 mm were followed by a second QFT-G one month later.

Results: Five of the 97 (5%) subjects tested positive for the first QFT-G. Thirty-three underwent a second QFT-G, five of whom (15%) turned positive, demonstrating the booster phenomenon of QFT-G.

Conclusions: Prior intradermal PPD injection may boost QFT-G. Further studies of the diagnostic significance and immunological mechanisms of this phenomenon are needed. For clinical application, especially during contact screening, QFT-G should be evaluated while keeping in mind the possible influence of prior PPD intradermal injection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Secondary
  • Incidence
  • Injections, Intradermal
  • Interferon-gamma / blood*
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Schools, Medical
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Students, Medical
  • Tuberculin Test / methods*
  • Tuberculin*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Tuberculin
  • Interferon-gamma