New Blood Test Proven Six Times More Effective for TB Detection - @ JEMS.com


New Blood Test Proven Six Times More Effective for TB Detection


 
 

| Wednesday, February 27, 2008


In a landmark study electronically published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a blood test for detecting TB infection, QuantiFERON(R)-TB Gold (QFT(TM)), has been shown to be six times more accurate than the conventional tuberculin skin test (TST) at predicting which tuberculosis (TB)-exposed individuals will go on to develop TB disease. This study has important implications for the worldwide effort to eradicate TB, as accurately indentifying TB-infected individuals allows health authorities to treat them before they develop disease, and the greater accuracy of the new test makes this more efficient as well as cheaper and safer (see also Tuberculosis).

Globally, up to two billion people are infected with TB. In most cases the TB bacteria is contained by the body's immune system (latent TB infection) without any symptoms of the infection. But 9 million people, most originating from this large pool of individuals with latent TB infection, are reported every year by The World Health Organization as developing active and infectious TB disease.

In the developed world, TB eradication strategies have focused on identifying and treating people with latent TB infection. Until recently the tuberculin skin test (TST; Mantoux test) has been the only test available to detect infected people. However, the TST often produces false-positive results, meaning many uninfected people are offered unneeded preventative treatment for TB. This treatment is for 6 to 9 months and may produce damaging side effects. For improved TB control, a test that accurately detects those truly infected, enabling treatment for only those at risk of developing TB disease, has major implications. The QFT test has now been shown to have this desired characteristic.

In the German city of Hamburg, Dr. Roland Diel and colleagues used both TST and QFT on 601 people who may have been infected by contact with people with TB disease. 40% had a positive TST, but only 11% (66) of the exposed persons were found infected by QFT and offered TB treatment -- 41 declined. Over the next two years 6 people developed TB disease, all were QFT positive and had declined treatment. In the past, all 243 TST positive people would need to have had anti-TB treatment to prevent only 5 of these cases, as one was TST negative. In scientific terms, QFT had a predictive value for developing TB disease of 15%, more than 6 times greater than the 2.3% for the TST.

What does this mean? Using QFT, doctors can now treat only a fraction of the people they would have with the TST, with the knowledge that they are preventing TB disease to at least the same extent, and likely better.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, PPE and Infection Control, Research

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

FEBRUARY 25-28, 2015

Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland USA
THE SHOW IS OPEN!

WEATHER REPORT


 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized for Overdose

11 students transported to local hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver Medic's Family Says Job Stress Contributed to Suicide

Veteran of over 25 years took her own life after a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver First Responders Join to Remember Paramedic

Veteran medic took her own life after fatal accident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Rigs Going in Service from EMS Today 2015

Snap shots of some of the vehicles at EMS Today that will be on the streets soon
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Florida Hospital Fire

Fire halts construction project at Tampa cancer center.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >