Rationale: Interferon (IFN)-γ blood tests may improve the current level of diagnostic accuracy for tuberculosis infection. The Quanti-FERON-TB Gold (QFT-Gold) has been used in selected populations and shows higher specificity than the tuberculin skin test (TST). Objective: To evaluate the QFT-Gold test in unselected patients and assess the level of agreement with the TST. Methods: The test has been routinely performed on whole blood samples in our microbiology laboratory for 8 months. Demographic, clinical, and microbiological data have been collected and correlated to the QFT-Gold results. Measurements and Main Results: Of 318 patients tested, 68 (21.4%) gave an indeterminate (low positive mitogen control) QFT-Gold result. Indeterminate results were significantly overrepresented in patients with a negative TST (28.9% vs. 6.6% in TST positive patients; p <0.0001, χ2 test) and were more frequent in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies than in those who were not receiving such treatments (odds ratio, 3.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.84-6.08; p <0.0001). After excluding indeterminate results, the concordance between QFT-Gold and TST was significantly lower in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated individuals (41.5%) than in nonvaccinated individuals (80.3%) (p <0.0001). In 11 patients with active tuberculosis (5 culture-confirmed), QFT-Gold provided more positive results than the TST (66.7% vs. 33.3%; p = 0.165). Conclusions: The QFT-Gold test is feasible in routine hospital use for the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection. As with the TST, immunosuppression may negatively affect the test's performance, with a significant rate of indeterminate results in the most vulnerable population.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine