Serial interferon-gamma release assays after rifampicin prophylaxis in a tuberculosis outbreak

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Even though some studies have reported the results of serial interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) during isoniazid prophylactic treatment, serial results have not been reported after rifampicin prophylaxis. A contact investigation was conducted after a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in an accommodation facility. The tuberculin skin test (TST) and the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test were performed in 214 contacts with normal chest radiographs. Rifampicin prophylaxis was initiated in TST+/QFT-GIT+ subjects, and the QFT-GIT test was repeated upon completion of 4 months of rifampicin treatment. Among the 214 contacts, the TST and QFT-GIT test results were positive in 67.7% and 56.7%, respectively, and the agreement between the two tests was fair-to-good (78.3%, kappa = 0.55, p < 0.001). The QFT-GIT test was positive in 77% (97/126) of contacts with positive TST results. Rifampicin prophylaxis was completed in 81 subjects with good compliance. Among 74 subjects with valid serial QFT-GIT test results, IFN-γ levels decreased in 97.3% (72/74) of the subjects and QFT-GIT test reversion (positive to negative) was achieved in 31 subjects (41.9%). Subjects without QFT-GIT test reversion had a significantly higher baseline TST induration sizes (18.3 ± 4.8 vs. 14.9 ± 3.4 mm, p < 0.01) and IFN-γ levels (18.6 ± 17.9 vs. 3.2 ± 7.5 IU/mL, p < 0.01) than the subjects with QFT-GIT test reversion. Thus, IGRAs may be useful in evaluating the therapeutic response to rifampicin prophylaxis in TB contacts. However, considering that this was not a controlled study, a prospective controlled study is needed to determine whether rifampicin prophylaxis truly affects QFT-GIT reversion. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Lee, S. H., Lew, W. J., Kim, H. J., Lee, H. K., Lee, Y. M., Cho, C. H., … Shim, T. S. (2010). Serial interferon-gamma release assays after rifampicin prophylaxis in a tuberculosis outbreak. Respiratory Medicine, 104(3), 448–453.

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