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Comparison of Interferon-Gamma Release Assay and Tuberculin Skin Test

Comparison of Interferon-Gamma Release Assay and Tuberculin Skin Test for the Screening of Latent Tuberculosis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients: Indian Scenario Mantri AK, Meena P, Puri AS, Kumar A, Sachdeva S, Srivastava S, Arivarasan K, Varakanahali S. Published Jan 2021, in the Tuberculosis research and treatment.


Background: In a country like India, where the prevalence of tuberculosis is very high, the role of screening tools for detection of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) like TST and IGRA is still unclear, especially in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Our study is aimed at comparing the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) and tuberculin skin test (TST) to determine the prevalence of LTBI in IBD patients in the Indian subset of the population. Methods: It was a prospective observational analysis. A total of 257 participants were included in the study. Both TST and IGRA were performed in consecutive patients diagnosed with IBD (131 patients) and in 126 healthy individuals. Both tests were performed on the same day. LTBI diagnosis was considered if any one of TST or IGRA was found to be positive. Results: Out of 131 IBD patients, 121 patients had ulcerative colitis and 10 patients had Crohn's disease. 29% of the IBD patients and 22% of the control subjects had LTBI. The study demonstrated concordance between TST and IGRA. Agreement test kappa value for IBD patients was 0.656 (CI 0.50-0.81), with a p value of <0.001, suggestive of a fair agreement. Mean IFN-γ release was lower in the immunosuppressed group as compared to non-immunosuppressed individuals (0.26 ± 0.17 vs. 0.45 ± 0.07, p = 0.02). Cohen's kappa coefficient values in IBD cases and control subjects were 0.66 and 0.79, respectively. TST was found to be negatively correlated to BMI. Conclusion: Agreement between TST and IGRA was fair in IBD patients. For LTBI screening in IBD patients, TST and IGRA are complementary methods.


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