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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2009 Jan;63(1):43-51. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2008.09.010. Epub 2008 Nov 21.

T-cell responses to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific antigens in active tuberculosis patients at the beginning, during, and after antituberculosis treatment.

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Servei de Microbiologia, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Fundació Institut en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain.


The objectives of the study were to assess the performance of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFN-G-IT) and the T-SPOT.TB tests in the immunodiagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB) in adult patients, and to study the T-cell interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) responses during treatment and in patients who have recovered after curative treatment and self-healed TB patients. When only analyzing patients included at the beginning of treatment, the sensitivity was 83.3% for T-SPOT.TB and 69.4% for QFN-G-IT. In contrast, when evaluating patients during treatment, the sensitivity of the T-SPOT.TB and QFN-G-IT decreased to 69.8% and 48.8%, respectively. The response to the specific antigens increased after finishing the treatment compared with the values during the treatment. The T-SPOT.TB was more sensitive in diagnosing active TB than the QFN-G-IT. The IFN-gamma tests could be used as a complementary method in the diagnosis of active TB.

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