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J Infect. 2007 Aug;55(2):164-8. Epub 2007 Apr 10.

QuantiFERON-TB Gold test in the identification of latent tuberculosis infection in immigrants.

Author information

1
Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University of Brescia, Piazza Spedali Civili 1, 25125 Brescia, Italy. a.carvalho@libero.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The identification and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among immigrants are an effective strategy for TB control in developed countries. A new test for LTBI identification that uses more specific antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is now commercially available under the brand name of QuantiFERON-TB Gold test.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare QuantiFERON-TB Gold test to tuberculin skin testing (TST) for the detection of LTBI among immigrants from high endemic TB areas.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Undocumented immigrants attending a district medical center were enrolled if they originated from high endemic TB areas, the time of arrival in Italy was < or = 5 years, had neither active TB disease nor known immunodeficiency status. The TST was applied according to standards and QuantiFERON-TB Gold test was performed following the manufacturer's instructions.

RESULTS:

Hundred subjects were included in the comparative analysis. TST was positive in 44% of subjects; 15% had a positive QuantiFERON-TB Gold test result. The total agreement between TST and QuantiFERON-TB Gold test was 71%, for a kappa statistics of 0.37; agreement was 100% for TST negative results, but only 34% for TST positive ones. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, previous BCG vaccination was independently associated with a lower chance of disagreement between the tests.

CONCLUSION:

The prevalence of LTBI among immigrants was lower when determined by QuantiFERON-TB Gold; this may be a consequence of more specific MTB antigens used. Our results suggest that QuantiFERON-TB Gold may be used as confirmatory test for TST positive immigrants candidate to preventive therapy.

PMID:
17428542
DOI:
10.1016/j.jinf.2007.02.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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