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Blood testing is an efficient and convenient way to test for tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading causes of infectious disease morbidity and mortality worldwide.1 Since TB spreads from person to person easily, TB testing and screening is essential for public health.

Learn about the custom resources we're making available to meet your unique TB testing needs.

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IGRA vs TST: 2 types of tests used to detect TB infection

Interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) are highly accurate and can help reduce overall costs versus a Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST) that requires 2 or more patient visits. TSTs have a higher rate of false positives in Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-vaccinated individuals.

According to the CDC:

TB blood tests (IGRAs) are preferred for the majority of at-risk US populations.3

 

IGRA tests are strongly recommended for:

  • People who have a difficult time returning for a second appointment4
  • Patients with compromised immune systems5,6
  • BCG-vaccinated patients7
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There are 2 TB blood tests approved by the FDA. Quest is the only lab that offers both

Quest offers both the T-SPOT®.TB and the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) blood tests—with results available from a single visit that can be reported directly to an EHR.

  • Objective results, available from a single patient visit
  • Easy specimen collection in 1 tube
  • Approved for patients who are immunocompromised and for children age 2+
  • Up to 54-hour stability, strict ambientb
  • Option for electronic results (reported straight to EHR)
  • Exclusive to Quest
a Quest Diagnostics has validated the use of this assay under CLIA for processing specimens more than 8 hours after collection, up to 54 hours.
b Consult with your Quest Diagnostics sales representative for more details regarding stability in your area.

 
  • Objective results, available from a single patient visit
  • Flexible collection options: 1 tube or 4 tubes
  • Approved for patients who are immunocompromised and for children age 2+
  • 48-hour stability, refrigerated
  • Option for electronic results (reported straight to EHR)
  • Innovative CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell response delivers a more comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s immune response

The T-SPOT®.TB test is an in vitro diagnostic test for the detection of effector T cells that respond to stimulation by Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens ESAT-6 and CFP-10 by capturing interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in the vicinity of T cells in human whole blood collected in sodium citrate or sodium or lithium heparin. It is intended for use as an aid in the diagnosis of M tuberculosis infection. The T-SPOT.TB test is an indirect test for M tuberculosis infection (including disease) and is intended for use in conjunction with risk assessment, radiography, and other medical and diagnostic evaluations.
 

Up-to-date relevant warnings, precautions, side effects, and contraindications can be found at: http://www.oxfordimmunotec.com/north-america/
 

QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) is an in vitro diagnostic test using a peptide cocktail simulating ESAT-6 and CFP-10 proteins to stimulate cells in heparinized whole blood. Detection of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is used to identify in vitro responses to these peptide antigens that are associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.


QFT-Plus is an indirect test for M tuberculosis infection (including disease) and is intended for use in conjunction with risk assessment, radiography, and other medical and diagnostic evaluations.

 

References

  1. CDC. Tuberculosis. Published April 6, 2020. Accessed August 25, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/newsroom/topics/tb/index.html
  2. USPSTF. Final recommendation statement: latent tuberculosis infection screening. Published September 6, 2016. Accessed August 30, 2022. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/latent-tuberculosis-infection-screening
  3. CDC. Tuberculosis Testing and Latent Tuberculosis Infection Treatment Practices Among Health Care Providers — United States, 2020–2022. November 3, 2023, Accessed May 24, 2024.https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/72/wr/mm7244a2.htm#:~:text=Abstract-,CDC%20recommends%20testing%20persons%20at%20increased%20risk%20for%20tuberculosis%20(TB,prevent%20the%20development%20of%20TB
  4. CDC. Testing for TB infection. Updated August 30, 2022. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/testing/tbtesttypes.htm
  5. T-SPOT.TB. Package insert. Oxford Immunotec Inc; 2017. Published 2017. Accessed April 24, 2024. https://www.oxfordimmunotec.com/international/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/Final-File-PI-TB-US-V6.pdf
  6. QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) ELISA Package Insert. Current QFT-Plus package inserts are available at www.QuantiFERON.com
  7. CDC. Fact sheet: tuberculin skin testing. Updated November 2, 2020. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/testing/skintesting.htm