[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tuberculin skin test (TST) does not discriminate between recent and remote latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). This study was carried out to test two interferon-gamma-based blood assays in recent contacts with high prevalence of remote LTBI. We performed a contact tracing investigation in a nursing home for the elderly, where elderly patients were exposed to a case of pulmonary tuberculosis. TST, QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT-G) and T-SPOT.TB (TS.TB) were performed 8 weeks after the end of potential exposure. IFN-gamma measurements were recorded and correlation with exposure was evaluated. Twenty-seven (37.5%), 32 (44.4%) and 16 (22.2%) subjects were TST, TS.TB and QFT-G positive, respectively; agreement between TS.TB and QFT-G was good among exposed subjects only (K=0.915, 0.218 in unexposed, p<0.001). When amounts of IFN-gamma were corrected for the number of producing T cells, specific IFN-gamma production was significantly different between exposed and unexposed individuals (16.75+/-5.40 vs 2.33+/-0.71 IFN-gamma IU/1000 SFC, p=0.0001). QFT-G and TS.TB provided discordant results among elderly contacts. Unlike TST, the specific IFN-gamma response might discriminate between recent and long-lasting tuberculosis infection.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two commercial blood assays for the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection--T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold--have been separately compared with the tuberculin skin test. Our aim was to compare the efficacy of all three tests in the same population sample.
We did a prospective study in 393 consecutively enrolled patients who were tested simultaneously with T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold because of suspected latent or active tuberculosis. 318 patients also had results available for a tuberculin skin test.
Overall agreement with the skin test was similar (T-SPOT.TB kappa=0.508, QuantiFERON-TB Gold kappa=0.460), but fewer BCG-vaccinated individuals were identified as positive by the two blood assays than by the tuberculin skin test (p=0.003 for T-SPOT.TB and p<0.0001 for QuantiFERON-TB Gold). Indeterminate results were significantly more frequent with QuantiFERON-TB Gold (11%, 43 of 383) than with T-SPOT.TB (3%, 12 of 383; p<0.0001) and were associated with immunosuppressive treatments for both tests. Age younger than 5 years was significantly associated with indeterminate results with QuantiFERON-TB Gold (p=0.003), but not with T-SPOT.TB. Overall, T-SPOT.TB produced significantly more positive results (38%, n=144, vs 26%, n=100, with QuantiFERON-TB Gold; p<0.0001), and close contacts of patients with active tuberculosis were more likely to be positive with T-SPOT.TB than with QuantiFERON-TB Gold (p=0.0010).
T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold have higher specificity than the tuberculin skin test. Rates of indeterminate and positive results, however, differ between the blood tests, suggesting that they might provide different results in routine clinical practice.