Publication date: Feb 04, 2019
Worldwide there are about 1.7 billion individuals with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and only 5% to 15% will develop active tuberculosis (TB). It is recommended to treat only those most at risk of developing active TB to avoid problems of drug resistance. LTBI diagnosis involves reviewing the individual’s medical history, physical examination, and biological tests. Interferon gamma release assays (IGRA) can yield “undeterminate” or “uncertain” results, which makes clinical management decisions difficult. We assessed an ultra-sensitive immunoassay prototype based on single molecule array (SiMoA) technology to evaluate its overall performance, and in particular, its performance for indeterminate and uncertain positive or negative samples, as classified by the results from the current ELISA technique used for IFNγ quantification. We analyzed samples from hospitalized or consulting patients and healthcare workers from three hospitals in Paris, previously classified as negative (n = 30), positive (n = 35), uncertain negative (n = 25), uncertain positive (n = 31), or indeterminate (n = 30). We observed that with the SiMoA assay 83.3% of the indeterminate samples became interpretable and could be classified as negative, whereas 74% of uncertain positive samples were classified as positive. Most uncertain negative samples (72%) were reclassified as uncertain positive (68%) or positive (4%). The results suggest that the ultra-sensitive SiMoA IFNγ assay could represent a useful tool for the identification of true positive and negative samples among those giving indeterminate or uncertain results with the TB IGRA assay currently used.
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