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Exp Ther Med. 2013 Aug;6(2):455-458. Epub 2013 May 21.

Clinical value of a whole blood interferon-γ release assay for the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection during antitubercular treatment.

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1
The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Weihui, Henan 453100;

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a whole blood interferon-γ release assay, the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test, in the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection, and to assess its monitoring role during antitubercular treatment. In total, 20 patients received the QFT test, along with other commonly-used tests, prior to, and following, 2- and 6-month courses of antitubercular treatment; the results were compared and statistically analyzed. The rate of positive results for tuberculosis (TB) was 95% for the QFT test, which was significantly higher compared with those for the purified protein derivative (PPD; 55%) and the antitubercular antibody tests (15%), as well as the acid-fast bacilli smear (20%) and cultures for TB (20%; P<0.05 for all). The sensitivity and specificity of the QFT test were 96 and 93.8%, respectively. The positive result rate obtained with the QFT test was significantly higher in the TB group compared with that in the non-TB group (6.3%; P<0.05). Moreover, the positive result rate obtained with the QFT test was significantly lower in the 6-month-treated group compared with that in the 2-month group (P<0.05). In conclusion, the QFT test is a sensitive and specific method for rapidly diagnosing MTB infection, and has an improved practical clinical value in evaluating antitubercular therapies compared with that of the PPD test.

KEYWORDS:

Mycobacterium tuberculosis; interferon-γ release assay; tuberculosis

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