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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2009 Jun;28(6):510-4.

Interferon-gamma release assay improves the diagnosis of tuberculosis in children.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) have been recently developed for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) infection. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the performance of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based IGRA for detecting TB in children.

METHODS:

A prospective study in 336 children at risk for TB infection was carried out. All children were tested with tuberculin skin test (TST) and a commercial ELISA-based IGRA [QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (Cellestis)].

RESULTS:

TST were positive in 58 of 336 (17.3%) and IGRA in 60 of 336 (17.9%) children. Two (0.6%) IGRA results were indeterminate. The overall agreement between the 2 tests was intermediate (86.2%, kappa= 0.533). IGRA was positive in 15 of 16 (93.8%) children with active pulmonary TB. The discordant pattern IGRA-/TST+ was significantly associated with Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination. Among IGRA+ children (excluding cases of TB disease), TST- were significantly younger than TST+ children.

CONCLUSIONS:

The good agreement between positive IGRA and active TB disease suggests a good sensitivity of IGRA. Discrepancies between IGRA and TST can be a result of higher specificity of IGRA that is not influenced by previous BCG vaccination. IGRA may be more sensitive in children younger than 48 months.

PMID:
19504735
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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