A toolbox for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis

An Indian Multicentric Study (2006โ€“2008). Evaluation of QuantiFERON-TB Gold in Tube for TB Diagnosis

Citation: Lagrange PH, Thangaraj SK, Dayal R, Deshpande A, Ganguly NK, et al. (2013) A Toolbox for Tuberculosis (TB) Diagnosis: An Indian Multicentric Study (2006โ€“2008). Evaluation of QuantiFERON-TB Gold in Tube for TB Diagnosis. PLoS ONE 8(9): e73579. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073579
Published: September 6, 2013

Background: The aim of this multicentric prospective study in India was to assess the performance of the QuantiFERON TB-Gold in tube (QFT-GIT), Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) and microbiological results as additional tools for diagnosing active tuberculosis (TB) and latent infection (LTBI) according to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) status.
Methods: Individuals with and without active TB and HIV infection were enrolled between 2006โ€“2008. QFT-GIT and TST results were analyzed per se and in combination with microbiological data.
Results: Among the 276 individuals (96 active pulmonary TB and 180 no active TB) tested by QFT-GIT, 18 indeterminate results (6.5%) were found, more significantly numerous in the HIV-infected (15/92; 16.3%) than the HIV-uninfected (3/184; 1.6%)(p<0.0001). QFT-GIT sensitivity for active TB was 82.3% and 92.9% respectively after including or excluding indeterminate results. Clinical sensitivity was significantly lower in the HIV-infected (68.4%) than the HIV-uninfected (91.4%) patients (p = 0.0059). LTBI was detected in 49.3% of subjects without active TB but varied according to TB exposure. When the TST and QFT-GIT were concomitantly performed, the respective sensitivity for active TB diagnosis was 95.0% and 85.0% in the HIV-uninfected (p = 0.60), and 66.7% and 51.5% in the HIV-infected patients (p = 0.32). QFT-GIT and TST respective specificity for active TB in the HIV-uninfected was 25.0% and 57.1% (p = 0.028), and 64.8% and 83.3% in the HIV-infected (p = 0.047). In those with active TB, QFT-GIT results were not associated with microbiological parameters (smear grade, liquid culture status, time-to-positivity of culture) or clinical suspicion of active TB score (provided by the clinicians at enrollment). Combining microbiological tests with both immunological tests significantly increased sensitivity for active TB diagnosis (p = 0.0002), especially in the HIV-infected individuals (p = 0.0016).
Conclusion: QFT-GIT and TST have similar diagnostic value for active TB diagnosis. In HIV-infected patients, combining microbiological tests with both immunological tests significantly increases the sensitivity for active TB diagnosis.

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