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New CDC Guidelines Prefer Use of Blood Tests, Including QuantiFERON®-TB, to Diagnose Tuberculosis Infection in Certain Populations
Date:6/24/2010

ity Weekly Report (MMWR). TST's drawbacks – which include a higher risk for false positives, especially in people who have been BCG-vaccinated; irritating TB-extract that must be injected under the skin; and the need for a second doctor's visit – were evaluated by the CDC and factored into their recommendations.

Approximately one person dies of TB every 17 seconds. Each infected person represents a potential yet preventable future outbreak. Convenient and trustworthy testing for TB infection is vital in order to efficiently identify the appropriate persons for treatment and thereby prevent its spread.

The populations specified by CDC in these guidelines, represent a majority of those being screened for TB infection. "With a specificity of more than 99 percent, QFT virtually eliminates false positive results and is simple to administer," said Tony Radford, chief executive officer, Cellestis Limited. "With more than 400 peer-reviewed, published clinical studies, QFT is a modern, scientifically–validated solution for reliable diagnosis of TB infection, and offers significant economic and public health advantages."

Specific highlights from the recommendations with regards to IGRAs include:

  • IGRAs are preferred over the TST for testing persons who have received BCG (as a vaccine or for cancer therapy).
  • IGRAs are preferred over the TST for diagnosing TB infection for persons from groups that historically have low rates of returning to have TSTs read.
  • IGRAs may be used in place of (not in addition to) TST in all situations in which CDC recommends testing, and is considered acceptable medical and public health practice.
  • IGRAs may be used in place of TST (without preference) to test recent contacts of persons with infectious tuberculosis
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SOURCE Cellestis Limited
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