Rationale: Each year 1 million persons acquire permanent U.S. residency visas after tuberculosis (TB) screening. Most applicants undergo a 2-stage screening with tuberculin skin test (TST) followed by CXR only if TST-positive at > 5 mm. Due to cross reaction with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), TST may yield false positive results in BCG-vaccinated persons. Interferon gamma release assays exclude antigens found in BCG. In Vietnam, like most high TB-prevalence countries, there is universal BCG vaccination at birth. Objectives: 1. Compare the sensitivity of QuantiFERON ®-TB Gold In-Tube Assay (QFT) and TST for culture-positive pulmonary TB. 2. Compare the age-specific and overall prevalence of positive TST and QFT among applicants with normal and abnormal CXR. Methods: We obtained TST and QFT results on 996 applicants with abnormal CXR, of whom 132 had TB, and 479 with normal CXR. Results: The sensitivity for tuberculosis was 86.4% for QFT; 89.4%, 81.1%, and 52.3% for TST at 5, 10, and 15 mm. The estimated prevalence of positive results at age 15-19 years was 22% and 42% for QFT and TST at 10 mm, respectively. The prevalence increased thereafter by 0.7% year of age for TST and 2.1% for QFT, the latter being more consistent with the increase in TB among applicants. Conclusions: During 2-stage screening, QFT is as sensitive as TST in detecting TB with fewer requiring CXR and being diagnosed with LTBI. These data support the use of QFT over TST in this population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)