Accuracy of QuantiFERON-TB Gold-PLUS Test for the Diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in Children

Giovanni Delogu, Ivana Palucci, Maurizio Sanguinetti, Piero Valentini, Michela Sali, Danilo Buonsenso, Flavio De Maio, Clelia Perricone, Roberta Grossi, Angela Careddu

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Compared to its predecessor QuantiFERON-TB Gold in Tube (QFT-IT), QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) contains an additional antigen tube (TB2), stimulating both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. The ability to discriminate CD4+ and CD8+ responses is suggested to be useful in differentiating stages of M. tuberculosis infection. While QFT-Plus has already been evaluated in adults, there are not enough data in children evaluated for suspected active tuberculosis (TB) or latent TB infection (LTBI).Methods. A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted among children aged 0 to 17 years who were evaluated for suspected active TB or screened for LTBI. All children underwent QFT-Plus and further clinical, radiological, microbiological analyses according to clinical scenario.Results. Of the 198 children enrolled, 43 (21.7 %) were tested because of suspicion of active TB: 12/43 (27.9%) were diagnosed with active TB, and among these 10/12 (83.3%) had a positive QFT-Plus assay. Of the 155 children screened for LTBI 18 (11.6%) had a positive QFT-Plus and 5 (2.5%) had an indeterminate result. TB1 and TB2 quantitative responses were not able to discriminate active disease from latent infection. The percent agreement between TB1 and TB2 was 100%.Conclusions. QFT-Plus assay showed good sensitivity for active TB and was particularly useful for the evaluation of children with suspected LTBI, giving a low rate of indeterminate results in this group. More studies are needed to properly evaluate QFT-Plus ability in discriminating active disease from latent infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • tubercolosis, quantiferon-TB

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