Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-46

Performance of QuantiFERON-TB Gold test compared to tuberculin skin test in detecting latent tuberculosis infection in HIV- positive individuals in Iran

1 Iranian Infectious Disease Research Center, Shaheed Beheshti Medical University, Tehran, Iran
2 Mycobacteriology Research Center, NRITLD2, Shaheed Beheshti Medical University, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Payam Tabarsi
Massih Daneshvari Hospital, Darabad-Niavaran-Tehran - 19556
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.58959

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Background: There is limited data about the performance of QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT-G) test in detecting latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in our region. We intended to determine the performance of QFT-G compared to conventional tuberculin skin test (TST) in detecting LTBI in HIV-positive individuals in Iran. Methods: This study was conducted in a HIV clinic in Tehran, Iran in April 2007. A total of 50 consecutive HIV-positive patients, not currently affected with active tuberculosis (TB), were recruited; 43 (86%) were male. The mean age was 38 ± 7.2 years (21-53). All had history of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccination. A TST with purified protein derivative (PPD) and whole-blood interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) in reaction to ESAT-6 and CFP-10 antigens was performed and measured by enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA). The agreement between TST and QFT-G results were analyzed using Kappa test. Results: A total of 36 (72%) patients had negative and 14 (28%) revealed positive TST. For QFT-G, 20 (40%) tested positive, 19 (38%) tested negative, and the results in 11 cases (22%) were indeterminate. A total of 14 (28%) patients had a CD4 count of <200. Of the 14, TST + group, 12 had QFT-G +, only one case TST+/QFT-G-, and QFT-G was indeterminate in one TST positive case. Of the 36 patients with negative TST tests, 8 (22%) had positive GFT-G and 10 (28%) yielded indeterminate results. There was no association between a positive TST and receiving highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) or absolute CD4 counts. Similarly, the association between QFT-G results and receiving HAART or CD4 counts was not significant (P = 0.06). Although TST results were not significantly different in patients with CD4 <200 vs. CD4 >200 (P = 0.295), association between QFT-G results and CD4 cutoff of 200 reached statistical significance (P = 0.027). Agreement Kappa coefficient between TST and QFT-G was 0.54 (Kappa = 0.54, 95% CI = 38.4-69.6, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Detecting LTBI in HIV-positive individuals showed moderate agreement between QFT-G and LTBI in our study. Interestingly, our findings revealed that nontuberculous mycobacteria and prior BCG vaccination have minimal influence on TST results in HIV patients in Iran.

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