The QuantiFERON TB Gold test (QFT-G) is a whole-blood test for use as an aid in diagnosing Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, including latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and tuberculosis (TB) disease. This test was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005. This test is currently NOT available from the South Dakota Department of Health because of the 12 hour processing requirement which makes the testing impractical at the current time.
How does it work?
Blood samples are mixed with antigens (substances that can produce an immune response) and controls. For QFT-G, the antigens include mixtures of synthetic peptides representing two M. tuberculosis proteins, ESAT-6 and CFP-10. After incubation of the blood with antigens for 16-24 hours, the amount of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is measured. If the patient is infected with M. tuberculosis, their white blood cells will release IFN-gamma in response to contact with the TB antigens.
What the advantages?
What are the disadvantages and limitations?
Additional information about QuantiFERON testing