IFN-γ-release assays to diagnose TB infection in the immunocompromised individual

Jose Domínguez, Irene Latorre, Neus Altet, Lourdes Mateo, Malú De Souza-Galvão, Juan Ruiz-Manzano, Vicente Ausina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The tuberculin skin test (TST) is used for diagnosing latent TB infection (LTBI). The main limitation of TST is its low sensitivity in populations with the highest risk of progression to active TB: immunosuppressed patients and young children. New IFN-γ-based tests appear as an alternative to the TST. IFN-γ-based tests seem more specific than the TST, being closely associated with LTBI factors, and not being affected by bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccination. Indeterminate results are mainly related to immunosuppression. Looking at the available data, it seems prudent to recommend the utilization of IFN-γ-based tests after a negative TST result, in order to increase the sensitivity of detecting LTBI cases in severely immunosuppressed patients. In summary, IFN-γ-based tests appear to be a valuable tool, in combination with the TST, for diagnosing TB infection in immunosuppressed patients. © 2009 Expert Reviews Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-327
JournalExpert Review of Respiratory Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2009


  • Active TB
  • Diagnosis
  • IFN-γ-release assays
  • Immunocompromised patient
  • Latent TB infection
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • TST
  • Tuberculin skin test


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