Rapid diagnostic tests for tuberculosis (TB) are needed to facilitate early treatment of TB and prevention of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission. The ICT Tuberculosis test is a rapid, card-based immunochromatographic test for detection of antibodies directed against M. tuberculosis antigens. The objective of the study was to evaluate the performance of the ICT Tuberculosis test for the diagnosis of active pulmonary TB (PTB) with whole blood, plasma, and serum from patients suspected of having PTB and from asymptomatic controls in a setting with a high prevalence of PTB. Seventy patients suspected of having PTB (and who were later confirmed to have or not to have PTB by use of M. tuberculosis culture as the "gold standard") and 42 controls were studied. Twenty-one controls were neither vaccinated with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) nor tuberculin skin test (TST) positive (group A controls), and 21 controls were TST positive and/or had previously been vaccinated with BCG (group B controls). Study subjects were drawn from one hospital and one primary health care unit in Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil. One version of the test (ICT-1) was evaluated by using whole blood, plasma, and serum samples. Sera obtained for this study were frozen and later tested with a manufacturer-modified version of the test (ICT-2). Among the patients suspected of having PTB, the sensitivities of the ICT-1 with whole blood, serum, and plasma were 83, 65, and 70%, respectively, and the specificities were 46, 67, and 56%, respectively. Among the group A controls, the specificities of ICT-1 with the three specimen types were 95, 100, and 95%, respectively. Among the group B controls, the specificities of ICT-1 with the three specimen types were 71, 86, and 86%, respectively. Among the patients suspected of having PTB, the sensitivity of ICT-2 was 70% and the specificity was 65%. Among the group A controls, the specificity of ICT-2 was 95%, and among the group B controls, the specificity of ICT-2 was 81%. With a 29% observed prevalence of PTB among patients suspected of having PTB, the positive predictive values of the ICT tests ranged from 39 to 50% and the negative predictive values ranged from 82 to 87%. The ICT Tuberculosis tests were not sufficiently predictive to warrant their widespread use as routine diagnostic tests for PTB in this setting. However, further evaluation of these tests in specific epidemiologic settings may be warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)