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TB Claims One Life Every 17 Seconds; Almost Two Million People Each Year

New CDC Guidelines Prefer Use of Blood Tests, including QuantiFERON®-TB, to Diagnose Tuberculosis Infection in Certain Populations

Valencia, CA (PRWEB) June 25, 2010 -- The United States (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new and important guidelines on the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB). In these landmark guidelines, CDC advises that Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) blood tests are now preferred over the 100+-year-old tuberculin skin test (TST) for diagnosing TB infection in certain populations, including people who typically do not return for the necessary reading of TST results, and those who have received Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) as a vaccine or for cancer therapy. Typically the TST or IGRAs, such as QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT), manufactured by Cellestis Limited, should be used as aids to diagnose infection with M. tuberculosis.

Developing countries are in a constant battle against the ravaging effects of the tuberculosis crisis. With global migration and the highly contagious nature of tuberculosis, the disease remains a significant threat to public health in the U.S. Settling into the lungs, the spine, the kidneys and the brain, tuberculosis can be fatal without proper treatment. The CDC estimates that up to 14 million people in the U.S. are TB infected and asymptomatic - with three-quarters remaining undiagnosed - and at risk of progressing to highly contagious TB disease.

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TB disease can be prevented by treating the symptomless infection before disease strikes. Convenient and trustworthy testing for TB infection is vital in order to quickly identify people needing treatment and thereby preventing the spread of TB. QFT is sound, evidence-based technology that virtually eliminates false positive results and more definitively indicates when a patient is infected with the TB bacterium. For the uninfected individual, this spares the anxiety and concern that a positive TST result, which may often be falsely positive, may cause. A false-positive TB test usually leads to unwarranted medical consultations and often, unnecessary treatment. For those unfortunate enough to be infected, the higher accuracy of QFT (over TST) greatly increases the likelihood that their infection will be detected. Use of QFT provides significant risk reduction for the millions of health professionals, employees, patients, and individuals who may come in contact with TB in the course of their work.

About QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT)
QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) is a simple blood test that accurately identifies people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of Tuberculosis (TB). As a modern alternative to the 110 year old Tuberculin Skin Test (TST), also known as the Mantoux, QFT offers unmatched specificity, high sensitivity and simplicity. QFT enables focused TB therapy by providing clinicians with an accurate, reliable and convenient TB diagnostic tool. QFT is unaffected by previous BCG vaccination and most other environmental mycobacteria. Unlike the TST, it requires only one patient visit, is a controlled laboratory test and provides an objective, reproducible result that is unaffected by subjective interpretation. Results can be available within 24 hours.

QFT is available for use in all clinical settings in which TST is commonly used. Examples include contact tracing, regular employee testing, for example for health care workers, as well as screening programs for prisoners and immigrants. QFT's application offers distinct advantages over the TST in the screening of immunosuppressed patients prior to anti-TNF-alpha therapy initiation and in patients with HIV, cancer or organ transplants.

QFT is sold directly in the U.S. by Cellestis Inc; in Europe by Cellestis GmbH (Germany); and in Australia and Asia by Cellestis International Pty. Ltd. (Australia). QFT is also available through Cellestis Commercial Partners in Japan, Europe, the Middle East and other countries around the world.

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