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QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube

Applications and Keys to Accurate Performance


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QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube Advantages over TST

Slide 9

November 2009

Now that we’ve discussed some general background points to QuantiFERON, you may be asking

 “What are the advantages of this method over the tuberculin skin test?” 

First, QuantiFERON In-Tube requires basic phlebotomy, whereas the TST is subject to placement error.

Second, the results of QuantiFERON are typically available within 24 hours, while the results of TST require 48 to 72 hours.

Third, a single visit is required for QuantiFERON. In contrast, a return visit is required for the TST, and as I mentioned earlier in the presentation, this may lead to a substantial number of patients who fail to have their TST interpreted and their TB status may remain unknown.

A fourth advantage of QuantiFERON is that the results are objective, while the TST requires a subjective interpretation that may vary between readers.

Other advantages of QuantiFERON are that this is an in vitro test, so no boost response is observed. In contrast, the TST is an in vivo approach, and an initial placement of PPD may boost or enhance the results of subsequent skin tests.

A final advantage that I’d like to discuss relates to the specificity of QuantiFERON. This assay does not seem to be affected by prior vaccination with BCG or infection with most nontuberculous mycobacteria. In contrast, false positives skin tests may be observed in patients vaccinated with BCG or infected with other mycobacteria.

Advantages over TST


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