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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 940642, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Stratified Threshold Values of QuantiFERON Assay for Diagnosing Tuberculosis Infection in Immunocompromised Populations

1Center for Respiratory Medicine, National Hospital Organization, Tokyo National Hospital, 3-1-1 Takeoka, Kiyose, Tokyo 204-8585, Japan
2Department of Mycobacteriology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-2-1 Aoba, Higashi-Murayama, Tokyo 189-0002, Japan

Received 7 February 2011; Accepted 13 April 2011

Academic Editor: A. S. Apt

Copyright © 2011 Haruyuki Ariga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The detection of latent tuberculosis (TB) is essential for TB control, but T-cell assay might be influenced by degree of immunosuppression. The relationship between immunocompetence and interferon (IFN)-γ response in QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) is uncertain, especially in HIV-negative populations. Methods and Results. QFT has been performed for healthy subjects and TB suspected patients. Of 3017 patients, 727 were diagnosed as pulmonary TB by culture. The absolute number of blood lymphocyte in TB patients was significantly associated with QFT. Definitive TB patients were divided into eight groups according to lymphocyte counts. For each subgroup, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was conducted from 357 healthy control subjects. The optimal cut-off for the patient group with adequate lymphocyte counts was found, but this was reduced for lymphocytopenia. Conclusions. The lymphocyte count was positively associated with QFT. Positive criteria should be calibrated in consideration of cell-mediated immunocompetence and risk of progression to active TB.