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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2014 Dec;33(12):1291-3. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000432.

Interferon-gamma release assay sensitivity in children younger than 5 years is insufficient to replace the use of tuberculin skin test in western countries.

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From the *Department of Health Sciences, Anna Meyer Children's University Hospital, and †Immunology Unit and Laboratory, Meyer Children's University Hospital of Florence, Florence, Italy.


Tuberculin skin test, QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube and T-SPOT.TB were performed in 338 children at risk for tuberculosis (TB), including 70 active TB cases. In children <5 years of age, QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube sensitivity was 73.3% [95% confidence interval (CI): 57.5-89.1]; and T-SPOT.TB sensitivity was 59.3% (95% CI: 40.1-77.8); both were inferior to tuberculin skin test sensitivity (90.0%; 95% CI: 79.3-100). In children ≥ 5 years QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube sensitivity was 92.5% (95% CI: 84.4-100); T-SPOT.TB sensitivity was 73.0% (95% CI: 58.6-87.3) ; and tuberculin skin test sensitivity was 97.5% (95% CI: 92.6-100).Test specificities were similar in all age groups.

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