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National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (UK); Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE (UK). Tuberculosis: Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Tuberculosis, and Measures for Its Prevention and Control. London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (UK); 2011 Mar. (NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 117.)

  • This publication is provided for historical reference only and the information may be out of date.

This publication is provided for historical reference only and the information may be out of date.

Appendix FScope 2011

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND CLINICAL EXCELLENCE

1. Guideline title

Tuberculosis: interferon gamma tests for the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis (partial update)

1.1. Short title

Tuberculosis (partial update)

2. The remit

The Department of Health has asked NICE: ‘To produce a short clinical guideline on interferon-gamma immunological testing for diagnosing latent TB (partial review of CG33).’

3. Clinical need for the guideline

3.1. Epidemiology

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, also known as 'the tubercle bacillus'. TB commonly affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body.
  2. The symptoms of TB are varied and depend on the site of infection. General symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, night sweats and tiredness. TB is usually spread by coughs, but prolonged close contact with a person with TB is usually necessary for infection to be passed on. It can take many years for a person infected with M. Tuberculosis to develop active TB.
  3. Each year, 10 million people develop clinical TB and 2 million die as a result of the disease. An estimated 2 billion people, a third of the world's population, have been exposed to M. tuberculosis. These people may carry the infection in its latent form and have a lifelong risk of developing active TB disease. In England cases fell progressively until the mid 1980s but started to rise again in the early 1990s. In 2008 there were 8665 cases of TB reported in the UK (13.8 per 100,000) and the London region accounted for 39% of cases (43.2 per 100,000).
  4. Almost all cases of clinical TB in the UK contract the disease by breathing in infected respiratory droplets from a person with infectious respiratory active TB disease. The initial infection may:

    be eliminated

    remain clinically latent, where the person has no symptoms but the TB bacteria remain in the body, or

    II.

    progress to active TB over the following weeks or months.

In people with latent TB, 10–15% of adults will go on to develop active TB at some point in their lives and the risk in children may be much higher. However, in people who are immunocompromised, the chance of developing active TB within 5 years of infection is up to 50%. Detection of latent TB is therefore important in controlling the disease.

3.2. Current practice

  1. NICE clinical guideline 33 (‘Tuberculosis: clinical diagnosis and management of tuberculosis, and measures for its prevention and control’) recommends that, to diagnose latent TB:
    • Mantoux testing should be performed in line with the Green Book1
    III.

    those with positive results (or in whom Mantoux testing may be less reliable) should then be considered for interferon-gamma immunological testing, if available.

    If testing is inconclusive, the person should be referred to a TB specialist.
  2. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) recommends the use of interferon gamma tests (IGTs) to screen for latent TB before immunosuppressive therapy (such as anti-TNF-α treatment).
  3. The HPA also recommends the use of interferon gamma release assay tests after a positive tuberculin skin test (also known as a Mantoux test) for new entrant screening.
  4. As part of the 2-year review process for NICE clinical guideline 33, concerns were raised about the appropriateness of IGT use in current clinical practice. A partial update on the use of IGT in the diagnosis of latent TB is therefore needed.

4. The guideline

The guideline development process is described in detail on the NICE website (see section 6, ‘Further information’).

This scope defines what the guideline will (and will not) examine, and what the guideline developers will consider. The scope is based on the referral from the Department of Health.

The areas that will be addressed by the guideline are described in the following sections.

4.1. Population

4.1.1. Groups that will be covered

  1. Adults and children (children up to the age of 18 years of age will be covered as a separate group) at increased risk of infection by M. tuberculosis complex (M. tuberculosis, M. africanum, M. bovis), specifically if they:
    • have arrived or returned from high-prevalence countries within the last 5 years
    • were born in high prevalence countries
    • live with people diagnosed with active TB
    • have close contact with people diagnosed with active TB, for example at school or work
    • are homeless and/or problem drug users
    IV.

    are, or have a recently been, a prisoner.

  2. Adults and children (children up to the age of 18 years will be covered as separate group) who are immunocompromised because of:
    • prolonged steroid use (equivalent to 15 mg prednisolone daily for at least 1 month)
    • TNF-α antagonists like infliximab and etanercept
    • anti-rejection therapy such as cyclosporin, various cytotoxic treatments and some treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, such as azathioprine
    • the use of immunosuppression-causing medication
    V.

    co morbid states that affect the immune system, for example HIV, chronic renal disease, many haematological and solid cancers, and diabetes.

4.1.2. Groups that will not be covered

  1. Adults and children diagnosed with clinical disease caused by Mycobacterium M. tuberculosis complex (M. tuberculosis, M. africanum, M. bovis), including those with HIV.
  2. Adults and children diagnosed with other infections caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria, for example leprosy, M. avium complex and other opportunist mycobacteria.

4.2. Healthcare setting

  1. Primary, secondary and tertiary care NHS settings, including specialist services like surgical transplant units, specialist cancer services, blood and bone marrow transplant units and specialised rheumatology units.
  2. Occupational health departments within the NHS.
  3. Prisons, community based centres and schools.

4.3. Clinical management

4.3.1. Key clinical issues that will be covered

  1. Diagnosis of latent TB using M. tuberculosis-specific antigens (ESAT-6, CFP-10, and TB7.7) interferon gamma release assays (IGTs). The following commercially available assays will be reviewed:
    • QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube
    • QuantiFERON-TB Gold
    VI.

    T-SPOT.TB.

    The diagnostic utility of these assays, alone or in combination with a tuberculin skin test, will be compared with tuberculin skin test alone.

4.3.2. Clinical issues that will not be covered

  1. Diagnosis of latent TB using tuberculin skin tests alone, unless as a comparator for IGTs.
  2. Diagnosis of latent TB using purified protein derivative based IGTs.
  3. Diagnosis of active TB.
  4. Treatment of TB.

4.4. Main outcomes

  1. The diagnostic utility of IGTs, either alone or in combination with tuberculin skin tests, and the threshold value for a positive diagnosis of latent TB.
  2. The relationship between diagnostic accuracy of comparator strategies and TB exposure and/or BCG vaccination, including the degree of concordance between tuberculin skin tests and IGTs.
  3. The value of IGTs in predicting the subsequent development of potential active TB.
  4. The acceptability of diagnostic strategies, such as convenience, among relevant populations.
  5. Adverse events. For example allergic reactions to various tests
  6. Health-related quality of life.
  7. Resource use and cost.

4.5. Economic aspects

Developers will take into account both clinical and cost effectiveness when making recommendations involving a choice between alternative tests. A review of the economic evidence will be conducted and analyses will be carried out as appropriate. The preferred unit of effectiveness is the quality-adjusted life year (QALY), and the costs considered will usually be only from an NHS and personal social services (PSS) perspective. Further detail on the methods can be found in 'The guidelines manual' (see ‘Further information’).

4.6. Status

4.6.1. Scope

This is the final version of the scope.

4.6.2. Timing

The development of the guideline recommendations will begin in February 2010.

5. Related NICE guidance

5.1. NICE guidance to be updated

This guideline will update and partially replace the following NICE guidance:

5.2. Guidance under development

  • Tuberculosis: hard-to-reach groups. NICE public health guidance. Publication expected March 2010.

6. Further information

Information on the guideline development process is provided in:

  • ‘How NICE clinical guidelines are developed: an overview for stakeholders the public and the NHS’
  • The guidelines manual'.

These are available from the NICE website (www.nice.org.uk/guidelinesmanual). Information on the progress of the guideline will also be available from the NICE website (www.nice.org.uk).

Footnotes

1

In this guideline the ‘Green Book’ is the 2006 edition of ‘Immunisation against infectious disease’, published by the Department of Health. Available from www​.dh.gov.uk/en/Publichealth​/Healthprotection​/Immunisation/Greenbook/index.htm). The Green Book contains details of people who may have suppressed responses to tuberculin skin testing.

Copyright © 2006, Royal College of Physicians of London. Updated text, Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

For 2006 original guideline text, no part of the content may be reproduced in any form (including photocopying or storing it in any medium by electronic means and whether or not transiently or incidentally to some other issue of this publication) without the written permission of the Royal College of Physicians of London. Applications for the Royal College of Physicians of London's written permission to reproduce any part of this publication should be addressed to the publisher.

For 2011 updated text, the material may be freely reproduced for educational and not-for-profit purposes. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations, or for commercial purposes, is allowed without the express written permission of NICE.

Cover of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis: Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Tuberculosis, and Measures for Its Prevention and Control.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 117.
National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (UK); Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE (UK).

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