Discordance of tuberculin skin test and interferon gamma release assay in recently exposed household contacts of pulmonary TB cases in Brazil

Rodrigo Ribeiro-Rodrigues, Soyeon Kim, Flávia Dias Coelho Da Silva, Aleksandra Uzelac, Lauren Collins, Moíses Palaci, David Alland, Reynaldo Dietze, Jerrold J. Ellner, Edward Jones-López, Padmini Salgame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) release assays (IGRAs) such as the Quantiferon Gold In-tube test are in vitro assays that measure IFN-γ release from T cells in response to M. tuberculosis (Mtb)-specific antigens. Unlike the tuberculin skin test (TST), IGRA is specific and able to distinguish Mtb-infection from BCG vaccination. In this study we evaluated the concordance between TST and IGRA and the efficacy of IGRA in diagnosing new Mtb infection in household contacts (HHC) of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) cases. A total of 357 HHC of TB cases in Vitória, Brazil were studied. A TST was performed within 2 weeks following enrollment of the HHC and if negative a second TST was performed at 8-12 weeks. HHC were categorized as initially TST positive (TST+), persistently TST negative (TST-), or TST converters (TSTc), the latter representative of new infection. IGRA was performed at 8-12 weeks following enrollment and the test results were positive in 82% of TST+, 48% of TSTc, and 12% of TST-, indicating poor concordance between the two test results among HHC in each category. Evaluating CXCL10 levels in a subset of IGRA supernatants or lowering the IGRA cutoff value to define a positive test increased agreement between TST and IGRA test results. However, ROC curves demonstrated that this resulted in a trade-off between sensitivity and specificity of IGRA with respect to TST. Together, the findings suggest that until the basis for the discordance between TST and IGRA is fully understood, it may be necessary to utilize both tests to diagnose new Mtb infection in recently exposed HHC. Operationally, in IGRA negative HHC, it may be useful to employ a lower cutoff value for IGRA to allow closer monitoring for potential conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere96564
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 12 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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    Ribeiro-Rodrigues, R., Kim, S., Coelho Da Silva, F. D., Uzelac, A., Collins, L., Palaci, M., Alland, D., Dietze, R., Ellner, J. J., Jones-López, E., & Salgame, P. (2014). Discordance of tuberculin skin test and interferon gamma release assay in recently exposed household contacts of pulmonary TB cases in Brazil. PLoS One, 9(5), [e96564]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0096564