Journal Article

Comparison between a Whole Blood Interferon-γ Release Assay and Tuberculin Skin Testing for the Detection of Tuberculosis Infection among Patients at Risk for Tuberculosis Exposure

Moriyo Kimura, Paul J. Converse, Jacqueline Astemborski, James S. Rothel, David Vlahov, George W. Comstock, Neil M. H. Graham, Richard E. Chaisson and William R. Bishai

in The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 179, issue 5, pages 1297-1300
Published in print May 1999 | ISSN: 0022-1899
Published online May 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6613 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/314707
Comparison between a Whole Blood Interferon-γ Release Assay and Tuberculin Skin Testing for the Detection of Tuberculosis Infection among Patients at Risk for Tuberculosis Exposure

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A new test that measures interferon-γ (IFN-γ) release in whole blood following stimulation with tuberculin has the potential to detect tuberculosis infection using a single blood draw. The IFN-γ release assay was compared with the standard tuberculin skin test (TST) among 467 intravenous drug users at risk for tuberculosis in urban Baltimore. Among 300 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—seronegative patients, the IFN-γ release assay was positive in 177 (59%), whereas the TST was positive in 71 (24%), for a percent agreement of 59% (κ = 26%). Among 167 HIV-seropositive subjects, the IFN-γ release assay identified 32 reactors (19%); the TST identified 16 reactors (9.6%), for a percent agreement of 82% (κ = 28%). The IFN-γ release assay detected more reactors than did the TST, but its agreement with TST was weak. As the TST is an imperfect standard, further evaluation of the IFN-γ release assay among uninfected persons and persons with culture-confirmed tuberculosis will be useful.

Journal Article.  2353 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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