Study supports QuantiFERON-TB Gold over tuberculin skin test for latent tuberculosis infection

Feb. 13, 2015

Clinical data recently published in The Lancet presents the baseline phase of China’s first large-scale, multi-center study of the epidemiology of latent tuberculosis infection. The comparison study of more than 21,000 patients allowed detailed analysis of demographics and risk factors, along with robust comparisons within subgroups. The study’s follow-up phase is now underway, and patients with LTBI will be evaluated for rates of disease and associated risks.

Results from the study, done by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, found a far lower prevalence rate of latent TB as measured using QuantiFERON TB Gold than with a traditional skin test (TST). The results in particular showed a far lower overall TB infection rate of 18.8% measured by QFT compared to 28% using the TST in China, which has been estimated to have one million new cases of TB every year, more than any country except India.

The study comparing diagnostics for latent tuberculosis infections—screened more than 21,000 people and aimed to identify at-risk populations to target for screening at the community level. Given the new information on lower prevalence rates in China based on these study results, the study authors wrote that community-based preventive interventions for those with latent TB may be practical for individuals at risk for developing active TB.

Read the full press release on the Qiagen website