Volume 74, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The prevalence of helminth and tuberculosis infections is high in South India, whereas Bacille-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine efficacy is low. Our aim was to determine whether concurrent helminth infection alters the ability to mount a delayed-type hypersensitivity response to tuberculin. In a cross-sectional study in southern India, individuals 6–65 years of age were screened for intestinal helminths, circulating filarial antigenemia, tuberculin reactivity, active tuberculosis, and history of BCG vaccination; 54% were purified protein derivative (PPD) positive, 32% had intestinal helminth infection, 9% were circulating filarial antigen positive, and 0.5% had culture-confirmed active tuberculosis. Only age and BCG vaccination were significantly associated with PPD reactivity; however, BCG vaccination was associated with a lower prevalence of hookworm infection relative to those without prior BCG vaccination. Neither intestinal helminth infection nor filarial infection was associated with diminished frequencies of PPD positivity. Our findings suggest that preceding helminth infection does not influence significantly the delayed-type hypersensitivity response to tuberculin.


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  • Received : 30 Aug 2005
  • Accepted : 16 Dec 2005

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