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Latent Tuberculosis: The Hidden Epidemic

Latent TB Forum
Although an estimated 8 million people develop active Tuberculosis (TB) worldwide each year it is difficult to assess the exact number affected by latent tuberculosis (estimated for the US alone are 9 to 14 million). From this hidden reservoir of the disease, new cases of active tuberculosis can emerge at a later date ranging from a few weeks to almost a lifetime.

bioMerieux recently held a Forum on the theme of 'Latent Tuberculosis - Identification of tuberculosis : latent infection and active disease'. The objective of the Forum was to bring together over 70 international specialists to discuss the clinical impact of new diagnostic tests known as IGRAs (Interferon Gamma Release Assays) on the detection of latent tuberculosis.

Key questions addressed during the Forum included:
  • What are the advantages of IGRA compared with TST (Tuberculin Skin Test)?

  • How does IGRA perform in at-risk population groups?

  • What are the benefits of IGRAs, and particularly the T-SPOT.TB assay, in clinical practice and for contact tracing?

  • Are IGRAs cost effective?

'Old' tools such as TST do not meet today's challenges of latent TB detection since they have low sensitivity, particularly in young children and the immunocompromised. There is therefore a need for more modern, reliable tests to improve the detection of TB infection. New tools called IGRAs, such as T-SPOT.TB, offer considerably higher specificity and sensitivity compared with TST and can therefore help to better control the reservoir of latent TB infection.

To read the full Forum report:



Detecting Latent TB infection with unequalled clinical performance

T-SPOT.TB - Advantages at a Glance:

  • Single blood sample. No repeat visit

  • Unaffected by BCG vaccination and common non-tuberculosis mycobacteria

  • Unrivalled sensitivity, maintained even in the immunocompromised 1-6

  • A cost effective model for TB control 7, 8

Find out more about T-SPOT.TB :

1. Janssens J-P. et al. ERJ 2007 30(4):722-8
2. Kang Y. et al. Chest. 2007 Sep;132(3):959-65
3. Chee C. et al. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2008
4. Meier T. el al. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 24: 529-536, 2005
5. Lee JY. et al. Eur Respir J 2006; 28: 24-30
6. Clarke S. et al. Clin Exp Immunol 2007 150(2):238-44
7. Wrighton-Smith P. et al. Eur Respir J 2006; 28: 45-50
8. Diel R. et al. ERJ 2007 30: 321-332

bioMerieux S.A. is an exclusive distributor of Oxford Immunotec in the following countries : Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden

NOTE: This item is from our 'historic' database and may contain information which is not up to date.

Source : bioMerieux (clinical diagnostic applications) View Company Information

Posted on July 31, 2009