Home Alternative guide Use of other interferon-gamma release tests for the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection – WHO policy statement

Use of other interferon-gamma release tests for the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection – WHO policy statement

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Following the review of evidence and advice from the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Tuberculosis (TB) Diagnosis and Laboratory Strengthening, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces that the current recommendations of the OMS for the use of interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA) are also valid for Beijing Wantai’s TB-IGRA and Qiagen QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus products. This expands the range of tests available to detect TB infection. Full details are provided in the WHO policy statement.

It is estimated that a quarter of the world’s population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Screening for TB infection increases the likelihood that people identified for preventive treatment will receive it. Two classes of tests – the tuberculin skin test (TST) and the interferon gamma release test (IGL) – are currently recommended by the WHO to screen for TB infection. The policy statement adds two products to the options available in the IGRA test class.

The advice provided should facilitate the acquisition and adoption of the recommended technologies and improve patient care. Current WHO recommendations on the use of TST and IGRAs (including T-SPOT.TB) are unchanged and remain valid. WHO recommendations on diagnostics are based on clinical research evidence – they do not include assessments of the quality of the products or the manufacturing process involved, which require regulatory processes.

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