Serial testing of refugees for latent tuberculosis using the quantiFERON-gold In-tube: Effects of an antecedent tuberculin skin test

Cristina A. Baker, William Thomas, William M Stauffer III, Phillip K. Peterson, Dean T. Tsukayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in refugee populations immigrating to low-incidence countries remains a challenge. We assessed the characteristics of the QuantiFERON-Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) compared with the tuberculin skin test (TST) in 198 refugees of all ages from tuberculosis-endemic countries. Diagnostic agreement between the first QFT-GIT and simultaneous TST was 78% (κ = 0.56) and between serial QFT-GITs was 89% (κ = 0.76). In serial QFT-GIT testing, 70% of subjects had an increased QFT-GIT value, perhaps the result of an antecedent TST in the setting of previous TB exposure. This boosting seemed to become less prevalent with time from TST and occurred less frequently in those with negative first QFT-GIT readings. Despite small changes in the quantitative results caused by nonspecific variation and boosting, the diagnostic result of the QFT-GIT was reliable. The QFT-GIT shows the potential to replace the TST for LTBI screening in refugees from tuberculosis-endemic areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-633
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume80
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

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