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Keywords:

  • close contact;
  • interferon-γ assay;
  • multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis;
  • tuberculin skin test

ABSTRACT

Background and Objective:  The results of tuberculin skin tests (TST) and QuantiFERON TB-Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) assays were compared in close contacts of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

Methods:  Close contacts of patients with bacteriologically confirmed MDR-TB (n = 101) were assessed. Most contacts were members of the households of patients, and 79 (78.2%) had received Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination. Samples from each contact were tested using the TST and the QFT-GIT assay on the same day, and the concordance between these results was assessed using kappa (κ) coefficients.

Results:  Forty-eight subjects (47.5%) showed positive responses on TST, using a 10-mm induration cut-off, and 54 (53.5%) were positive for the QFT-GIT assay. Of the 48 individuals who were TST positive, 34 (70.8%) were positive for the QFT-GIT assay. Of the 53 subjects who were TST negative, 33 (62.5%) were negative for the QFT-GIT assay. The overall agreement between the two tests (κ coefficient) was 0.33. The κ coefficient was higher in the 22 subjects who had not received BCG vaccination (κ = 0.48) than in the 79 subjects who had received BCG vaccination (κ = 0.29).

Conclusion:  The TST and QFT-GIT assays showed poor correlation in close contacts of patients with MDR-TB, especially those contacts who had received BCG vaccination.