The value of QuantiFERON in the diagnosis of tuberculosis disease and in the monitoring of the response to anti-tuberculosis treatment is unclear. The aims of this study were to evaluate the accuracy of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test in the diagnosis of tuberculosis and in the monitoring of the response to anti-tuberculosis treatment in patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). Between January 2013 and December 2015, 133 cases with active PTB and 133 controls with no mycobacterial infection, matched by age (within 3 years) and by the week that they visited Tainan Chest Hospital, were enrolled in the study. Serial testing by QFT-GIT at baseline and after 2 and 6 months of treatment was performed. At these time points, a comparison of the performance of QFT-GIT with that of sputum culture status among study subjects was conducted. Compared to baseline, 116 (87.2%) cases showed a decreased response, whereas 17 (12.8%) showed persistent or stronger interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) responses at 2 months. PTB patients IFN-γ responses declined significantly from baseline to 2 months (median, 6.32 vs. 4.12; p
< 0.005). The sensitivity values of the QFT-GIT test for the detection of pulmonary tuberculosis at cut-off points of 0.35 IU/mL, 0.20 IU/mL, and 0.10 IU/mL were 74.4%, 78.2%, and 80.5%, respectively. The specificity values at cut-off points of 0.35 IU/mL, 0.20 IU/mL, and 0.10 IU/mL were 66.2%, 63.9%, and 57.1%, respectively. Our results support the QFT-GIT assay as a potential tool for diagnosing tuberculosis and for monitoring the efficacy of anti-tuberculosis treatment.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited