Tuberculosis is a communicable disease caused by infection with M. tuberculosis complex. Infection results in either acute disease or Latent TB Infection (LTBI), a non-communicable asymptomatic condition. The main purpose of diagnosing the latent stage is to consider medical treatment for preventing overt disease. Until recently, the tuberculin skin test was the only available method for diagnosing LTBI.
QuantiFERON®-TB gold eliminates false positive skin test due to BCG vaccination and most Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) and is an objective, reproducible qualitative test. There are no side effects or adverse reactions due to patient hypersensitivity, and no "booster effect", whereby the first test induces a false positive response on re-testing. There is no need for follow-up patient visits to obtain test results.
The TB blood test has several advantages over a skin test. Blood testing requires only one visit to the lab while skin testing requires multiple visits to a doctor's office. Blood testing for Tuberculosis is typically more accurate than a skin test. Skin testing has a higher likelihood of false positive results, especially if a person has been previously vaccinated for TB.
The Immunity Panel combines several common titer immunity tests for additional savings. These tests are often ordered when someone needs proof of their immune status to common infectious diseases for work or school. It may also be ordered for pregnant women as part of their prenatal testing.