QuantiFERON-TB Gold+ for the Diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection.

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Date: Feb. 1, 2021
From: American Family Physician(Vol. 103, Issue 3)
Publisher: American Academy of Family Physicians
Document Type: Article
Length: 975 words
Lexile Measure: 1790L

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QuantiFERON-TB Gold+ is a blood test used for the diagnosis of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex organisms (M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum). It is used as an alternative to tuberculin skin testing for latent tuberculosis (TB). QuantiFERON-TB Gold+ is known as an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) because M. tuberculosis peptide antigens stimulate the release of interferon-gamma from the T cells of patients with the infection. It is the next generation of QuantiFERON IGRA testing. The previous generation is called QuantiFERON-TB Gold or QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-tube. Results of the blood test may be negative, positive, or indeterminate. A positive test result does not distinguish between active and latent TB. (1) The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends testing for latent TB in patients at increased risk of infection. (2)


Cross reactivity is known to exist with three non-tuberculous mycobacteria: M. kansasii, M. szulgai, and M. marinum. The proteins used to stimulate the cell-mediated response in patients are not found on any other nontuberculous mycobacteria or within the components of the bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine for TB. The manufacturer of QuantiFERON-TB Gold+ conducted seven sensitivity studies and four specificity studies across multiple sites in the United States, Japan, and Australia. (1) Table 1 compares the specificity and sensitivity of tuberculin skin testing and the two major IGRA tests, QuantiFERON-TB Gold+ and T-SPOT.TB. (1,3-5)


QuantiFERON-TB Gold+ testing can be performed during a single visit and does not require a second interpretation visit, as...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A648962587