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Author's response: BCG and infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  1. S W Michelsen1,
  2. E M Agger2,
  3. S T Hoff2,
  4. B Soborg1,
  5. L Carstensen1,
  6. A Koch1,
  7. T Lillebaek3,
  8. H C F Sorensen4,
  9. J Wohlfahrt1,
  10. M Melbye1
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen S, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Infectious Disease Immunology, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen S, Denmark
  3. 3International Reference Laboratory of Mycobacteriology, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen S, Denmark
  4. 4The Tasiilaq District Hospital, Tasiilaq, Greenland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sascha Wilk Michelsen, Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, Copenhagen S DK-2300, Denmark; swm{at}

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Thanks to Turner et al for commenting on our article. Turner et al challenge our finding that the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG) can prevent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (MTI), and propose an alternative explanation: that the absence of a positive interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) could be due to antigenic sin and does not necessarily demonstrate absence of infection.

A positive IGRA is the best available surrogate for MTI, but we are fully aware of its limitations. With the IGRA test, MTI is defined by a T-cell-induced interferon gamma response to M tuberculosis antigens …

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