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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2013 Dec;17(12):1552-7. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.13.0239.

Predictive value of interferon-gamma release assays for postpartum active tuberculosis in HIV-1-infected women.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.



Data on the prognostic utility of interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) for active tuberculosis (TB) among human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) infected individuals are limited.


Samples from a perinatal cohort of HIV-1-infected women in Kenya, obtained during pregnancy, were tested using T-SPOT®.TB IGRAs to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) responses. IFN-γ (cut-off values of >0, ≥6 and ≥10 spot-forming cells [SFC]/well) and CD4 cell count (cut-off values of <250 and <350 cells/l) were evaluated to determine sensitivity and specificity using a time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curve and positive predictive value (PPV) using the Kaplan Meier method for future TB within 1 year postpartum.


Of 327 women, 9 developed TB within 1 year postpartum (incidence rate 3.5/100 person-years of follow-up, 95%CI 1.66.7). IFN-γ ≥ 6 SFC/well was associated with an optimal trade-off between sensitivity (78%) and specificity (55%) and a PPV of 5.9%. In women with CD4 cell count of <250 cells/μl, the sensitivity and specificity of IFN- 6 SFC/well were respectively 89% and 63%, and the PPV was 19.2%.


Among HIV-1 infected women, IFN-γ response (≥6 SFC/well) during pregnancy lacked a high PPV for postpartum TB, but had higher sensitivity and PPV among immunosuppressed women (CD4 cell count of <250 cells/μl).

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