Publications & Reports

Feasibility of latent tuberculosis infection diagnosis by interferon-gamma release assay remote from testing facilities.

Trauer JM, Hajkowicz KM, Freeman KG, Krause VL
Tuberculosis Unit, Centre for Disease Control, Tiwi, Northern Territory. james.trauer@nt.gov.au

Abstract

Although the tuberculin skin test (TST) has been the mainstay of the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) for many decades, interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) are gaining acceptance and are more specific for this diagnosis. The characteristics of one such IGRA, the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Whole Blood In-Tube, make it feasible for use in a remote setting. This study performed 62 IGRAs with this test on individuals testing positive by TST, in a clinical setting over 3,000 km from the testing laboratory. Of these, 42 patients (68%) recorded negative results, 19 (31%) were positive, with only 1 result (2%) indeterminate. Negative, and therefore discordant in this study, test results were more common in those known to have been previously vaccinated with bacille Calmette-Guerin. These results are consistent with other reports, indicating that this approach to testing is logistically feasible, and has the potential to complement LTBI screening to assist tuberculosis control programs in settings remote from the testing laboratory.

Publication

  • Journal: Communicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report
  • Published: 01/06/2011
  • Volume: 35
  • Issue: 2
  • Pagination: 168-171

Author