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Free Content Use of the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test for screening tuberculosis contacts and predicting active disease

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance of the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT-G) test for screening tuberculosis (TB) contacts and estimating their risk of progressing to active TB disease.

METHODS: Data on clinical progression to active disease were collected from public health centres 2 years after close contacts of TB cases had been QFT-G-tested.

RESULTS: Among 3102 contacts observed, 419 were QFT-G-positive, and isoniazid (INH) treatment was initiated in 323. Twenty (4.8%) of these 419 developed TB disease. Among 2683 QFT-G-negative persons, 19 were diagnosed with TB (0.7%) during the average follow-up period of 1.6 years. The estimated sensitivity of QFT-G in detecting contacts who would progress to active TB was 51%, or 64% allowing for the effects of INH treatment. Among the QFT-G-negative contacts, all those who developed TB disease were contacts of highly infectious cases. Large-scale tuberculin skin testing was not available.

CONCLUSIONS: TB incidence among QFT-G-positive contacts was higher than among QFT-G-negative contacts, but the number of TB cases among QFT-G-negative contacts is non-negligible, especially among contacts of highly infectious cases.

Keywords: QuantiFERON®-TB Gold; prediction; progression to TB disease; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: First Clinical Department, Fukujuji Hospital, Tokyo, Japan 2: Mycobacterium Reference and Research, Research Institute of Tuberculosis, Yokyo, Kiyose, Japan 3: Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Research Institute of Tuberculosis, Yokyo, Kiyose, Japan

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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