178060 A Field Trial Evaluating the Quantiferon Gold Tuberculosis Test in an Endemic Population

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Michael R. Spence, MD, MPH , Department of Quality Management, Kalispell Regional Medical Center, Kalispell, MT
Quantiferon Gold (QG) is a highly sensitive and specific assay for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in controlled conditions. We wanted to determine its usefulness when specimens were obtained locally but analyzed after storage and shipping at a distant facility. Methods: Healthcare workers at a Caribbean island community hospital where MTB and other mycobacteria are endemic and BCG receipt is common comprised the study population. All patients received BCG. They had a minimally13 mm induration positive tuberculin skin test and negative chest x-ray within the last one year. Venous blood specimens were collected and incubated at 37degrees centigrade. After overnight incubation (minimally 16 hours, < 24 hours) the specimens were spun at 2000-3000 rpm for 10 minutes and refrigerated at 40F. After 12 days of collecting, specimens were shipped by express mail to our genetics laboratory for testing, a distance of over 4,000 miles. Upon receipt the specimens were again refrigerated and batch tested four days later. Results: There were 25 specimens in which we had complete data. Nine (36%) of the specimens were positive. Discussion: The QG test can be employed in less than ideal conditions. Venous blood specimens can be obtained and processed in field conditions. They can then be shipped by express mail, and batch analyzed. QG can also be used where BCG receipt and other mycobacterium infections are common

Learning Objectives:
1. To learn the usefulness of the Quantiferon Gold tuberculosis test in an endemic setting where BCG receipt is common. 2. To learn if a genetic test can be employed in field conditions.

Keywords: Health Care Workers, Tuberculosis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and conducted the investigation and reviewed and interpreted the results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.