Comparison of a tuberculin interferon-γ assay with the tuberculin skin test in high-risk adults: Effect of human immunodeficiency virus infection

Paul J. Converse, Stephen L. Jones, Jacquie Astemborski, David Vlahov, Neil M.H. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A novel, whole blood interferon-γ, (IFN-γ) assay was evaluated to determine its suitability for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure in intravenous drug users with or without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Whole heparinized blood was incubated overnight in separate wells with tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD), saline, and mitogen controls. Levels of IFN-γ in plasma supernatants were determined by rapid ELISA. Participants were then administered the tuberculin skin test (TST) and tested for cutaneous anergy. The whole blood IFN-γ test agreed (89%-100%) with a positive TST in both HIV-seropositive and -seronegative subjects, but reactivity to PPD was more detectable by the whole blood assay among those with negative TSTs or anergy. TST induration diameter and IFN-γ responses were correlated (Spearman's ρ = .45, P = .0001), but both responses were blunted by HIV infection. In summary, tuberculin reactivity appears to be more detectable by the whole blood IFN-γ assay than by TST, and the assay requires no return visit for test reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume176
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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