Use of the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test to confirm latent tuberculosis infection in a Canadian tuberculosis clinic
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT) results after implementation as a routine test for tuberculin skin test (TST) positive patients.
DESIGN: From November 2004 until January 2007, patients who were TST-positive and were eligible for preventive treatment based on Canadian guidelines, were offered a QFT.
RESULTS: Of 1446 TST-positive patients, only 566 (39.6%) were QFT-positive. Categorized by reason for TST testing, 43.1% of 304 contacts, 32.8% of 348 employment screens and 24.2% of 298 post secondary school screens were QFT-positive. In contrast, 59.7% of 290 immigration screens were QFT-positive. A multivariate analysis found that QFT positivity was associated with older age, larger TST size, high-incidence TB region of birth, history of TB and chest X-ray findings suggestive of previous TB.
CONCLUSION: Implementation of the QFT as a secondary test for latent TB infection (LTBI) can significantly reduce the number of patients given LTBI treatment in a low-incidence country such as Canada.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 2: Capital Health TB Clinics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 3: Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Publication date: June 1, 2009
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