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eISSN: 1643-3750

Performance of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test and Tuberculin Skin Test for diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection in BCG vaccinated health care workers

Cenk Babayigit, Burcin Ozer, Tacettin Inandi, Cahit Ozer, Nizami Duran, Orhan Gocmen

Department of Chest Diesases and Tuberculosis, Faculty of Medicine, Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:521-529

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889943

Available online:

Published: 2014-03-29


Background: Tuberculin skin test (TST) has been used for years as an aid in diagnosing latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) but it suffers from a number of well-documented performance and logistic problems. Quantiferon-TB Gold In Tube test (QFT-GIT) has been reported to have better sensitivity and specifity than TST. In this study, it was aimed to compare the performance of a commercial IFN-gamma release assay (QFT-GIT) with TST in the diagnosis of HCWs at risk for latent TB infection in BCG vaccinated population.
Material and Methods: Hundred healthy volunteer health care workers were enrolled. All were subjected to TST and QFT-GIT. Results were compared among Health Care Workers (HCWs) groups in terms of profession, workplace, working duration.
Results: TST is affected by previous BCG vaccinations and number of cases with QFT-GIT positivity is increased in accordance with the TST induration diameter range. QFT-GIT result was negative in 17 of 32 TST positive (≥15 mm) cases and positive in 4 of 61 cases whose TST diameters are between 6–14 mm, that is attritutable to previous BCG vaccination(s). It was negative in all cases with TST diameters between 0–5 mm.
HCWs with positive QFT-GIT results were significantly older than the ones with negative results. Furthermore duration of work was significantly longer in QFT-GIT positive than in negative HCWs.
Conclusions: There was a moderate concordance between QFT-GIT and TST, when TST result was defined as positive with a ≥15 mm diameter of induration. We suggest that QFT-GIT can be used as an alternative to TST for detection of LTBI, especially in groups with high risk of LTBI and in population with routine BCG vaccination program.

Keywords: Adult, Quantiferon-TB Gold In-Tube, latent tuberculosis, Tuberculin Test, BCG Vaccine - immunology, Health Personnel, Latent Tuberculosis - prevention & control, Logistic Models, Reagent Kits, Diagnostic, Tuberculin Test - methods, Vaccination, young adult



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