Complexity in estimating recent tuberculosis transmission among predominantly immigrant school children in Stockholm, Sweden 2006

Scand J Infect Dis. 2008;40(9):709-14. doi: 10.1080/00365540801995352.


In January 2006, an after-school carer in Stockholm was diagnosed with open pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) after having been symptomatic for 3 months. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the difficulties encountered in estimating recent transmission of TB among children in an immigrant school population. A tuberculin skin test was performed on 261 pupils aged 6-15 y and an additional interferon-gamma release assay was performed on 20 children. In total, 76% of the children were born in Sweden; however, 95% of the parents originated from countries with TB incidence >25/100,000. Three active TB cases were identified, 1 of whom was culture-positive with the same strain as the index case. Latent tuberculous infection (LTBI) was diagnosed in 35 children. However, the increased risk of earlier infection in this population makes it difficult to evaluate when transmission occurred. The magnitude of recent transmission from the index case will thus be uncertain and indications to treat less clear.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Contact Tracing*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Sweden
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / transmission*


  • Interferon-gamma