The use of an interferon-gamma release assay to screen for pediatric latent tuberculosis infection in the eastern region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

Lolowa A.Al Mekaini, Omar N.Al Jabri, Hassib Narchi, Salwa M. Kamal, Abdelazim Mabrook, Mariam M.Al Kuwaiti, Mohamud M. Sheek-Hussein, Abdul Kader Souid, Ahmed R. Alsuwaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Intense migration to the United Arab Emirates from tuberculosis (TB) high-endemic areas presents a particular risk to the population. Screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) usually involves risk assessment, the tuberculin skin test (TST), and interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). This study investigated the use of an IGRA to screen for LTBI and compared its performance with a risk assessment questionnaire. Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study was conducted at seven Ambulatory Healthcare Services facilities in Abu Dhabi. Participants (88% Emiratis) were pediatric patients presenting for routine care. The QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test was performed and the parents completed a questionnaire assessing TB risk factors. Results: Six-hundred and ninety-nine subjects (median age 8.7 years, interquartile range 9.2 years) were enrolled; 669 (96%) agreed to testing. Four patients had a positive IGRA; one had previously been treated for TB, resulting in three patients with LTBI. The estimated LTBI prevalence was 0.45% (95% confidence interval 0.09-1.3). A household contact from a TB high-endemic area was reported in 44%, travel to a TB high-endemic area in 10%, and contact with someone with a chronic cough in 7%, a TB case in 3%, a TST-positive case in 2%, and an IGRA-positive case in 2%. Fifty percent of participants had at least one risk factor. The risk assessment did not predict a positive IGRA. Conclusions: The questionnaire yielded a risk of TB exposure of 50%, however the LTBI prevalence, as defined by the IGRA, was low (0.45%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-7
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • IGRA
  • Interferon-gamma release assay
  • LTBI
  • Pediatric latent tuberculosis infection
  • TB risk assessment
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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